My guess is that 98% of you have never heard of this one. Before I get in to the actual adventure, let me tell you a little about The Nature Conservancy. It’s an organization with a simple yet challenging mission: to conserve and preserve our natural lands and ecosystems. In a world full of take, take, take, The Nature Conservancy works to give; to provide crucial habitat that is disappearing at an alarming rate. They operate on 5 core values:
Integrity beyond reproach
Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures
Commitment to Diversity
Tangible, Lasting Results
The Ponders Tract was acquired by TNC in 2004 and has been restored by the hands of volunteers to serve as a habitat for our wildlife but also a place where we can enjoy Delaware wild lands. What used to be a logging forest now has 9 miles of trails for us to explore on! We checked out the map before heading in and decided on the Frog Pond Trail.
It seemed like it would be a piece of cake to stay on track, especially considering the great signs at the entrances to the trails off of Ponders Rd. The forest is very different than many that we normally visit and as you hike deeper within, you become more and more isolated. There is a level of quiet that is almost unsettling. In that sense, I was glad this was one we did as a family because I tend to be a paranoid person and too much quiet makes me uneasy.
Before long, we came to a crossroads where there was no signage, but according to the map, we felt like we should go straight. The trail became narrower and narrower until we began wondering if we were even on a trail at all. Turns out we weren’t. We ended up popping out on the Red Oak Trail and making our way back on the main road. Even though it wasn’t exactly what we planned on, we made it out already and the boys LOVED all the huge puddles in the road left by a recent thunderstorm. Thank goodness I had them in their rain boots so they could wade through them.
We only saw a tiny portion of the land at Ponders Tract, there is much more adventuring to be had!