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5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

Hunkering down in your neighborhood? Here are some ways to turn your neighborhood walk into a unique outing.

If you're looking for inspiration on how you can get your nature fix without even leaving your neighborhood then look no further! Strolling your neighborhood can provide fun and unique ways to train, enjoy nature, and help keep our community safe while Washington is under a Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

Here are five ways you can make a simple walk around the block into something adventurous.

Anna hummingbird by Jamie Pearson
An Anna's hummingbird after her morning feed in Auburn. Photo by Jamie Pearson

1. transform it for training

Who says you need an epic mountain peak to stay in shape or get fit? Find your closest neighborhood hill and do a few laps up and down, or if you're wanting an added challenge, load up a backpack and use the weight for extra training goodness. Hum the Rocky theme as you reach the top each time for added motivation. Fist pumping in the air not required, but encouraged.

2. Bring the binoculars

Whether you live in the middle of the city or in the country or somewhere in between, it's more than likely you live somewhere where birds make their home. Binoculars can make almost anything more interesting and give you a close-up view of wildlife, even in the city. Just avoid aiming them in your neighbor's windows. Nobody needs that.

3. Find something or somewhere new

Even if you've lived somewhere for the last twenty years, it's very possible you've never noticed the little details of your neighborhood. Take your time, stop and look at the small stuff and the big, and really get to know your neighborhood. Take a new route you've never tried before or admire the blooming flowers. You never know what you might find!

4. Identify it

Do you know the scientific name of the tree that grows on the corner? Or maybe the lichen that's attached itself to the trunk of it? Find out what the heck that thing is called! There are a number of field guides online that you can pull up on your phone that will help you identify your neighborhood flora and fauna. Make a game of it and see if you can remember their names on your next walk.

lichen by Linh Huynh
Sometimes the littlest things make the biggest adventures. Lichen (Lecanora chlarotera) surrounded by other lichens (most likely Hypotrachyna sinuosa and Lobaria pulmonaria). by Linh Huynh

5. Challenge yourself

Think you can find five things on your walk that start with the letter T? Come up with fun games to play while you take your neighborhood stroll to keep your mind engaged. And no, you can't say "tree" five times. That's cheating.

Share Your ideas

Do you have other ideas on how to turn your neighborhood walk into a unique adventure? Leave a comment and share with other hikers! And as always, remember to practice good social distancing (stay 6+ feet away from others) while you're outside. Happy hiking!

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Comments

Wilderness Photographer on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I came across a small marshy area in a local park and was marveling at how it seemed like its own little world. So I came back the next day with a small spice jar, took a water sample (about a tablespoon), and brought it home to see the critters swimming around under a microscope.

Posted by:


Wilderness Photographer on Mar 24, 2020 04:14 PM

Wilderness Photographer on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I should add that I then returned the water sample afterward! I'm not sure how to edit my previous comment.

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Wilderness Photographer on Mar 24, 2020 04:23 PM

Krista Dooley on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I grabbed a handful of colored pencils to put in my pocket before leaving the house with my kids. As we walked I took out a pencil and we looked for 5 things that color before pulling out the next pencil. It kept them engaged and looking all around to discover how colorful our neighborhood is. The next day they pointed out so many more colors as we walked.

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Krista Dooley on Mar 25, 2020 03:34 PM

Magnoliamar on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I've been exploring the city and getting a good workout by doing some of the walks in the book, "Seattle Stairway Walks" by by Jake & Cathy Jaramillo. The walks have taken me to nooks and crannies in the city I have never seen. And the numerous stairways provide some good cardio.

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Magnoliamar on Apr 05, 2020 11:36 AM

Hiker on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I've followed the advice of WTA.org over the past week of, if you have to get in your car it's too far. Every run this week has been through a crowded neighborhood, where I have to run into traffic at random to maintain a safe social distance. I have been cussed at and glared at numerous times by drivers. The scenery is exclusively 1990s mass-produced suburban houses and apartments.
Throughout my work day, I watch out the window as people walk by. They aren't keeping appropriate distances, sharing a narrow suburban sidewalk as they pass each other. Some even stop and have lengthy conversations at arm's length.
Perhaps closing all of our trails is ill advised. It concentrates people, unsafely, in urban environments, and punishes people who do it correctly.
BTW, I'm going to continue doing it correctly, even if it angers people out driving their cars. Unless you work at a hospital or grocery store, there is no place that you need to go right now.

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Hiker on Apr 06, 2020 04:31 PM

Boots on Trail on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

Sorry to hear,that, Hiker. I've had completely to opposite experience - folks politely moving to the street or across the street to maintain distance (myself included), cars being patient with pedestrians, FAR fewer cars on the road in general, mote people walking the major routes so I shift over a block and am back to near solitude. I agree that solitude can be had on our trails, if done right, but the masses proved to us that they didn't care and had no interest in social distancing themselves, so we all loose. I will admit to being guilty of heading over a neighborhood or two for a change of scenery but have had equally good results no matter where I've landed.

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Ranger Gwen on Apr 12, 2020 05:54 PM

Boots on Trail on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

Sorry to hear,that, Hiker. I've had completely to opposite experience - folks politely moving to the street or across the street to maintain distance (myself included), cars being patient with pedestrians, FAR fewer cars on the road in general, mote people walking the major routes so I shift over a block and am back to near solitude. I agree that solitude can be had on our trails, if done right, but the masses proved to us that they didn't care and had no interest in social distancing themselves, so we all loose. I will admit to being guilty of heading over a neighborhood or two for a change of scenery but have had equally good results no matter where I've landed.

Posted by:


Ranger Gwen on Apr 12, 2020 05:55 PM

Johnstraillog2 on 5 Tips To Turn Your Neighborhood Stroll Into An Adventure

I think it’s wonderful that the WTA is getting behind the Stay Home, Stay Safe order in our communities, but like so many folks out there-the parks that are open are full of people! Seahurst Park yesterday had 50 cars. By closing popular parks-it is pushing folks to anything that is open: beaches and city parks are full. There are an awful lot of hikes out there-and by restricting people to a select few-the number of people is also restricted. At some point, this thing restricting the trails will be lifted-but people will still have to use their best judgement-as threat of being contagious will most likely still be there. Furthermore, I personally have not been on a hike on a trailhead that is as crowded as some of our local outdoor gathering spaces that people can still legally do these days

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Johnstraillog2 on Apr 15, 2020 10:46 PM