Brownies & Juniors Ready to Hit the Trail!

Girls Outside Guides in green shirts, Kelly (L) and Lisa (R) with Episcopal School of Knoxville Brownies & Juniors!

Girls Outside Guides in green shirts, Kelly (L) and Lisa (R) with Episcopal School of Knoxville Brownies & Juniors!

Last week Girls Outside guides Kelly and Lisa visited with Episcopal School of Knoxville Brownies and Juniors to talk about hiking! The troop of 3rd and 4th graders met outside on the wooded school grounds where they helped Lisa pack her hiking backpack — healthy snacks, layers, hat and water, check! So sorry, stuffed Ernie and pet rock, you must stay home! Then, the girls discussed the principles of outdoor ethics called Leave No Trace, impressing their GO guides with their knowledge by giving great examples of what to do and what to not do to care for our special outdoor places. The girls also shared about their favorite things to do outside — high on the list was playing with friends, looking for animals, and also playing in the mud! These girls are more than ready to hike now, and finished off their meeting with a short jaunt around the school nature trail and some trail mix snacks. They hope to join in a Girls Outside hike this spring to complete their Girl Scout Hiker badge. More photos from the fun meeting available here!

Posted in Girl Scouts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daisies Find Birds at Carl Cowan Park

Daisies testing out binoculars

Daisies testing out binoculars

Last week Girls Outside took their “Introduce a Girl to Bird Watching” program to Blue Grass Elementary’s Daisy Girl Scout Troop. The group met at Carl Cowan Park in West Knoxville, on the Tennessee River, to learn about Leave No Trace and the joy of bird watching. The girls helped unpack Kelly’s bird watching bag to reveal healthy snacks, water, a bird guide, an extra layer, and a camera — all useful items for a day out hiking and looking for birds! Then girls got to try out binoculars and took a short bird walk around the park where they found Blue Jays, Carolina Chickadees, fall warblers and vireos hopping around in the trees and shrubs. Several daisies from this troop will be joining us on our Nov 1 hike at the UT Arboretum in order to complete the requirements for their Brownie Hiker Badge, which they will get when the bridge to the Brownie Girl Scout level soon. More great photos from the adventure at Carl Cowan park available here!

Posted in Bird Watching, Girl Scouts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

1st – 3rd Grade Girls to Branch Out on November 1

backwoodswalkoakridgeforest14

This hike is now full, but if you’d like to be included on our waiting list, send us an email at knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com

Girls Outside’s youngest explorers have the opportunity to inaugurate the UT Arboretum as the next Girls Outside hike location on November 1 from 1 – 3 pm.   Click here for a description of this “outdoor classroom” and here for the location and map to the site.

In addition to offering well maintained easy to navigate trails through a variety of habitats, the UT Arboretum’s trails are designed to teach and highlight ecological points of interest. The mix of habitat types and variety of tree species make this an ideal location for finding birds and enjoying vibrant fall colors.

We’ll be doing about 2 miles of hiking through the arboretum from Old Kerr Hollow Rd to Arboretum Drive. From there we will make our way to the Program Shelter. Then we’ll take the Heath cove trail shortcut and then take Valley Road back.
When: 1-3 p.m., Saturday, November 1.
Where: Meet in the parking lot for the UT Arboretum just past the Visitor Center:  901 S. Illinois Ave.  Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

Hike leader is Miriam Davis.  Click here for the flyer for this hike!!

Please remember that each hiker must have a completed Health History Record on file. Your child’s immunization record is required as part of the form, and this can be obtained from your pediatrician. You can scan and email the form to knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com before the hike or bring the completed form on the day of the hike. This form will be kept on file for future hikes, so you only have to fill it out once.

Each hike begins with a fun get-to-know-you game and a brief lesson, from Leave No Trace principles to fun historical facts about the trail and everything in between. Wear weather-appropriate clothing, closed toe sturdy shoes, and bring water and light snacks.

While the mission of Girls Outside is to enjoy nature, we also hope these outings foster independence and so we encourage parents to let their girls do the hike on their own as a part of the group. Remember to leave electronic devices at home to better enjoy time in nature.

Every G.O. hike has at least four women volunteer chaperones eager to share their passion for the outdoors with the next generation. The minimum number of hikers is usually six, and the maximum is 12.

These hikes are free and the entire organization is run by volunteers!  To learn more about how to help support Girls Outside’s mission to get girls outside see our Give page.  In addition, you can help us spread the word or invite a friend’s child by sharing our girlsoutside.org link and this Nov. 1st flyer. To see the fun we have on our hikes, visit our photo gallery on Facebook.

Posted in Trip Announcement, Young Hikers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Trip Report: Two Paths Diverged in a Yellow Wood

Girls in grades 1-3 get outside on Sunday.

Girls in grades 1-3, and their grown-up girl guides, get outside on Sunday.

Although we were sorry we could not travel both, young hikers did find another gorgeous autumnal path on Sunday after learning Ijams Nature Center was closed. Nine intrepid hikers and their five adult guides took a stroll to the Key Hole off Imerys Trail at the Ross Marble Quarry Area near Ijams. We enjoyed all the colors of fall on this warm afternoon, and also took time to scout for birds and other wildlife, using our collection of new binoculars. The girls also learned and practiced the valuable lessons of “leave no trace” by making sure they left minimal impact on the environment. The day was warm with just the hint of October cool.

To view more photos of our hike, visit our photo gallery on Facebook — accessible without a Facebook membership.

The next Girls Outside hike is planned for Saturday, Nov. 1st for girls in grades 1-3. The hike will be at UT’s Arboretum near Oak Ridge. Details coming soon!

Posted in Trip Report, Young Hikers | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

1st-3rd Grade Girls To Hike Ijams

GO

*Update 9-23-14: This hike is now full and registration has closed.

Autumnal colors will be in full swing for the Oct. 5 hike for girls in grades 1-3, which takes place from 2-4 p.m. on the trails at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville.

This two-to-three mile hike will begin with a loop on the River Trail, which takes us through lush forests to panoramic views of the Tennessee River. We will also hike other Ijams’ Discovery Trails, which meander between the Home Site, the Tennessee River and Ijams’ Lotus Pond. We will look and listen for woodland birds, such as nuthatches, woodpeckers and wrens, and perhaps we will get lucky and spot the resident barred owl.

When: 2-4 p.m., Sunday, October 5
Where: Meet at Ijams’ entrance near Visitor Center, 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville 37920

Hike leader is Catherine Crawley. Here’s a link to the pdf flyer.

Please remember that each hiker must have a completed Health History Record on file. Your child’s immunization record is required as part of the form, and this can be obtained from your pediatrician. You can scan and email the form to knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com before the hike or bring the completed form on the day of the hike. This form will be kept on file for future hikes, so you only have to fill it out once.

Each hike begins with a fun get-to-know-you game and a brief lesson, from Leave No Trace principles to fun historical facts about the trail and everything in between. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring water and light snacks.

While the mission of Girls Outside is to enjoy nature, we also hope these outings foster independence and so we encourage parents to let their girls do the hike on their own as a part of the group. Remember to leave electronic devices at home to better enjoy time in nature.

Every G.O. hike has at least four women volunteer chaperones, eager to share their passion for the outdoors with the next generation. The minimum number of hikers is usually six, and the maximum is 12.

These hikes are free! Help us spread the word or invite a friend’s child by sharing ourgirlsoutside.org link and this .pdf flyer. To see the fun we have on our hikes, visit our photo gallery on Facebook.

Posted in Trip Announcement, Young Hikers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sept. 20 – Up, Above and Around Meads Quarry for 7th & 8th Graders!

10612582_512502122226579_5231660388342962187_nIMG_0579[1]

Hot on the heals of the first hike of the season, it’s time to sign up your 7th or 8th grade girl for our first ever hike for this age group.  This time we’ll head up, above and around Ijams Meads Quarry.  This hike is offered in collaboration with Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians, though you do not need to be a Girl Scout to join us.

This approximately three mile hike will follow Tharp Trace up and around Mead’s Quarry, which is part of Ijams Nature Center.  From the lookouts above the cliffs we will be able to see the lake below and Mt. LeConte in the distance.  We will also pass the historic Stanton Cemetery, spend time at the lake shore looking for tadpoles, fish and rare freshwater jellyfish, and wander creek side along the Toll Creek loop on the main Ijams Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary property.  The hike will last from 1-4 pm. Hike leader is Miriam Davis Here’s a link to a pdf flyer: Sept 20 G.O. Flyer 

Click Here to Register.  Deadline Sept. 17.

Every G.O. hike has at least 4 women volunteer chaperones, eager to share their passion for the outdoors with the next generation!

Please remember that each hiker must have a completed Health History Record on file. Your child’s immunization record is required as part of the form, and this can be obtained from your pediatrician. You can scan and email the form to knoxgirlsoutside@gmail.com before the hike or bring the completed form on the day of the hike. This form will be kept on file for future hikes, so you only have to fill it out once.

Each hike begins with a fun get-to-know-you game and a brief lesson, from Leave No Trace principles to fun historical facts about the trail and everything in between. Wear weather-appropriate clothing and bring water and light snacks.

While the mission of Girls Outside is to enjoy nature, we also hope these outings foster independence and so we encourage parents to let their girls do the hike on their own as a part of the group. Remember to leave electronic devices at home to better enjoy time in nature.

These hikes are free! Help us spread the word or invite a friend’s child by sharing our girlsoutside.org link.  To see the fun we have on our hikes, visit our photo gallery on Facebook.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Trip Report: Girls Outside Beats the Heat at Ijams’ Mead’s Quarry

Girls pose at the entrance to Ross Marble Area

Girls pose at the entrance to Ross Marble Area

A hot and steamy September afternoon couldn’t keep our intrepid group of six 4-6th grade girls and four Girls Outside guides trapped indoors! Ijams’ Mead’s Quarry provided the perfect retreat. After a little getting to know you and some Leave No Trace charades, the girls began by experimenting with brand new binoculars and guide books generously donated by the Tennessee Ornithological Society. Then, time to hit the trail — here’s the highlights!

We hiked out to the Ross Marble Area and found the Rock Bridge and Key Hole first. Several of the girls were familiar with the spot and showed off first-hand knowledge of the best places to scramble over the rocks. We all paused for a while to hang out over the natural “air conditioning unit” provided by cool air flowing out of a spring-fed cave. Also tried in vain for find a calling catbird mewing from thick brush.

Then, onward to another enchanting spot — Hayworth Hollow — which provided lots of neat areas to explore as well as cool respite in a shady ravine. A mud wallows at the trail end proved to be too tempting — many of the girls crept out to sink their shoes into the cool mud, a few up to their ankles. One girl proclaimed that mud is “good for the skin.” The adult guides decided to take her word for it.

So, what are you to do when your shoes are covered in mud? Well, go wading of course. The trip ended with a trek back to the lake in Mead’s Quarry, where girls waded up to their knees at the boat ramp, some choosing to just sit or lie down in the shallow water. The water in this spring-fed lake is so clean that freshwater jellyfish make their home there. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any. One girl caught a minnow by making her cupped hands into a tiny fishbowl.

Amazing to think that this area was once a bustling quarry, then later a neglected dumping ground. With great regard for all the folks who helped clean up and restore the area to the recreation spot it is today — it’s now an amazing spot for a group of young adventurers to spend an afternoon!

Posted in Trip Report, Uncategorized, Urban Hike | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment