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Not So Lazy Days: Exploring the Rancocas Nature Center

Updated on June 22, 2011
The Blue Trail at the Rancocas Nature Center winds visitors through a woody area.
The Blue Trail at the Rancocas Nature Center winds visitors through a woody area. | Source

Field Trip

Last year, we visited the Rancocas Nature Center later in the summer and saw many butterflies as we hiked along the Red Trail. Today, we dragged Daddy along, took the Blue Trail and saw a couple of critters that begin with "D"-- dragonflies and a deer!

Before starting our mile hike, we stopped in the visitor center to pick up a trail map and see the turtles, frogs and snake living in the old house. We were told by staff to keep an eye out for snakes, deer, and, of course, birds.

As the tweeting of birds and buzzing of bugs surrounded us, our first dragonfly appeared simply resting along the path. The boys got to study it for quite some time before we continued along our way.

As we passed some high grass, we heard something large moving through nearby, but never got to see the animal.

We continued along the woody path, the boys bending their heads back to follow the height of the trees. We saw a couple more dragonflies pass by, and even saw an almost fluorescent green bug playing hide-and-seek with us.

Then, as we neared the end of the trail, a deer, probably frightened by our seemingly sudden appearance (the boys were as quiet as they get), ran by and away into the woods. Once again, the boys stopped and watched-- briefly speechless when we asked them if they saw it.

The center has four trails: the 1 mile Blue Trail, 1/2 mile Red Trail, 1/2 mile Orange Trail and .1 mile Yellow Trail. The Yellow Trail leads you to the Red and Blue Trails as well as the meadow and back to the parking lot.The Orange Trail, accessible by going down the Blue Trail, takes visitors to the creek.

Cost to walk the trails is free, but a $2 donation is recommended. The center is closed on Mondays.

About the Not So Lazy Days series

I've challenged myself to find a new activity to do five days a week every week of the kids' summer vacation. Activities will fall under one of three categories: Arts & Crafts, Sports & Games or Field Trips. Follow me on Twitter @readallaboutsam for immediate updates on posts!

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