The Parklands

Natural Healing

Our kids were bickering, I was overwhelmed with the amount of chores, laundry, and school work I needed to complete and my husband wanted to spend the morning working on his fantasy football picks (be sure to use the correct amount of sarcasm when reading that last part). 

It became very clear that my family was in need of some natural healing! 

With very little reluctance, we grabbed some waters and snacks and headed out for our favorite hiking spot, the Big Beech Trail in Pope Lick Park.  It didn’t take long before the arguing and complaining was replaced with laughter. 

Fall hiking is so much fun.  I love the smell of the crisp cool air and the sounds of the crunching leaves below your feet. I usually hike as a form of exercise and try to make as few stops as possible.  But, today, the numerous stops were needed.  We enjoyed watching our kids scour the ground for animal prints and strange looking seeds that had fallen from the trees.  We loved that they were noticing the trees had different features on their bark and shapes to their fallen leaves.  But most importantly, we were thrilled to see them smiling, laughing and having fun.  I quickly noticed a change in my mood as well.  I felt relaxed, energized and happy!  Happy because I was in a place that I love and with the people that mean the most to me.  

We didn’t see any deer… even though we found plenty of evidence they were nearby.  I’m sure they heard us coming!

I truly believe in the healing powers of nature.   So, next time your family is on the verge of a total meltdown, head out to one of the many hiking trails The Parklands has to offer.  I’m confident you will return home feeling balanced and energized.

Happy hiking!


Story by Suzy Stoffel. Suzy is an Interpretive Ranger at The Parklands.  She enjoys helping children and families increase their scientific literacy through all the great programs and classes the park has to offer.  When she’s not at the park working she’s usually here with her family hiking or biking (her son is pictured here at one of the entrys to the Black Willow Trail).  Suzy is originally from Portland, Oregon but has spent time teaching and coaching volleyball in New York and Michigan. 
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