I have a confession.
I hate winter. I hate snow. I hate cold. I am usually counting down the days until spring as soon as winter rolls around. This sort of puts a damper on our outside activities, however, for the sake of this blog, I have been inspired to venture out despite my aversion to this season so that I have new adventures to bring to you! There are actually benefits to hiking in the snow believe it or not. It can be quite educational for kiddos and adults alike and we were lucky to have a semi-warm day over the weekend so we took advantage of that and headed to Blackbird Creek Reserve.
Located in Townsend, DE it is part of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. Try to say that 5 times fast! What exactly is an estuary, and why is it important, you ask? An estuary is the place where a river/stream meets the bay or ocean. When the fresh and saltwater mix, it becomes brackish water. Estuarine environments are somewhat unique in the species of animals, plants and insects that live there. Blackbird Creek is one of two estuaries in the DNERR, with St. Jones Reserve in Dover making up the pair.
And since I’m all about letting you guys in on secrets, so I’ll share another one with you! One of the ways I find places to visit is pretty simple. I pull up google maps and look for the large green areas. I then zoom in to see what they are called and Google them to see if they are worth a visit. Even if you are not from the Delmarvapa area, or if you are looking for an outdoor adventure while on vacation, this technique will work for you too. When I saw the loop trail here I was sold because you know I love a good loop!
There are actually two loop trails at Blackbird Creek Reserve, a 2K and a 5K. We visited after nap so we didn’t have many daylight hours left and to be honest, pushing a stroller with an almost 50 pound kid in it through snow and mud was enough of a work out for me for the day! I do plan on trying to other trail the next time we visit so I will make sure I stretch first 🙂
Since it was a fairly warm winter day, the snow was melting pretty rapidly which means there was plenty of mud and puddles for little boys to stomp in. I was semi-prepared for this so I put D in his snow boots, but forgot a spare set of clothes so he did end up riding home pants-less, but happy.
One of D’s favorite books is called “Who Pooped in the Park?” by Gary D. Robson. I highly recommend this series because what kid doesn’t like to talk about poop? This book also focuses on identifying animals by their “tracks” and this is where the snow comes in handy. D is adept at finding deer tracks by now and we saw A TON at Blackbird Creek. We also saw lots of human footprints and puppy footprints. He also liked seeing what his own footprints looked like in the snow. If you aren’t able to get out while there is still snow on the ground this year, (fingers crossed there won’t be more) fear not! You can search for “scat and tracks” any time of the year in the mud or on the beach and you will find different types of footprints in each location.
The 2K trail at Blackbird Creek meandered through wooded areas, along the water and near meadows. The variety of habitats allows for more opportunities to see animals and wildlife, especially birds. We are looking forward to visiting again when it’s warmer and we plan on attending the annual Fall Festival there on October 15th this year. Make sure you add it to your calendar!
One last thing. Make sure you take a look at the right side of this page. You may notice some new additions including some of my Instagram pictures. I am an avid Instagrammer and would love for you to follow me. I’m greenbean951 and I will follow you back! Make sure you post instapics from your own outdoor adventures and use the hashtag #thebuckit. If you love nature as much as I do check out these hashtags also:
Can’t wait to see your pics!