Family Friendly Guided Hikes!

Family Friendly Guided Hikes!

By Kate Simmons, Community Relations Coordinator
Looking for ways to explore Hitchcock Nature Center as a family this year? Check out our calendar of guided hikes! These are the perfect way to get outdoors and dip your toe into hiking in the Loess Hills as you explore Hitchcock Nature Center with PCCB staff leading the way. Not only will you get a chance to see the park you might also learn a thing or two.


IMG_2580 Small2018 Hitch Hike Series 

May 15th, 7:00 p.m.
June 19th, 7:00 p.m.
July 17th, 7:00 p.m.
August 21st, 7:00 p.m.
September 18th, 6:00 p.m.
These guided evening hikes are designed to give visitors the chance to explore different sections of interest within Hitchcock Nature Center. Each hike will take a new route with new adventures along the way, attend a few or all of them! Hitch Hike guests will receive a punch card at their first hike of the season, each time you attend a hike you get a punch and each punch is an entry into our end of season drawing for a great prize. No pre-registration is needed for these events. 

Nature’s Harvest 

4:00 p.m. – October 20th
Don that costume and head to the park for some holiday fun. Attendees will hit the trails on a guided hike all to solve a spooky mystery & do some learning along the way. Themed activities, pumpkin painting, trick or treating, & a hay rack ride are also part of the fun offered that night. Pre-registration is requested for this event, & we will be opening it up to registration in September of 2018. Click here for more information on this fun, annual event

Family Guided Night Hike 

6:00 p.m. – November 17th
Join us at Hitchcock Nature Center for a guided night hike as we explore Hitchcock Nature Center and the Loess Hills in the dark. Pre-registration will be required for this event, & we will be opening it up to registration in October of 2018. Click here for more information on this brand new event

Family Winter Adventure Hike

10:00 a.m. – December 15th
Hit the trails in December and see a whole new side of the park on a guided winter adventure hike. As the trees shed their leaves they reveal the secrets of the Loess Hills and it’s a perfect time to do some exploring. We are still ironing out some details but pre-registration will be required for this event & we will be opening it up to registration in November of 2018. 
HNC Profile Photo Spring 2017

Curious about what to bring on a guided hike?

1. Always dress for the weather – Dress in layers that are easy to remove, carry, and put back on. Hats are a fantastic idea as they protect your head & eyes from the elements rain, snow, or sun.
2. Wear appropriate footwear – Guided hikes mean you will be out in the park, navigating uneven and sometimes challenging terrain. Don’t feel that you have to run out for hiking boots, any pair of good, closed toed shoes with tread will do the trick. Snowboots or insulated shoes are great for the winter/cold weather events. 
3. Water, water, WATER – Never forget your water bottle. Even short hikes can feel challenging when you aren’t appropriately hydrated.
4. Insect repellent & sunblock – The great outdoors includes exposure to all kinds of insects, they call the park home and we just have to deal with that. We recommend repellents containing DEET for our summer hikes to deter both ticks and mosquitoes. Sunblock at the SPF of your choice is always recommended too. Sunburns can occur even on cloudy days or on shady trails so protect yourself and your family.
5. Other optional items – A light snack, binoculars, camera, & notebook may also be helpful as you hit the trails. 
I pack all these items together in a small backpack making them super easy to carry. Best of all you can leave most of these items together & add fresh water before heading out the door for your next hike.