Skip to content


Educational Experiences to inspire young explorers

School may be out for summer, but parks and trails serve as living classrooms where children and adults alike can learn about the environment, history, and the importance of preserving and conserving these special places. Remember to check each location's website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on hours, availability, and any specific guidelines or restrictions. Enjoy exploring the Piedmont region with your family!

Participate in the annual Take a Child Outside week September 24-30. Inspired by Richard Louv’s book “Last Child in the Woods,” Take A Child Outside week was founded to help connect children with nature. By celebrating opportunities for children to have free play outside, highlighting locations offering places to explore the outdoors, and providing simple activities anyone can do, we hope to increase the number of children experiencing the natural world.


Guilford Courthouse National Military Park | Greensboro

Stop by the visitors center to grab a Junior Ranger Book and Nature Scavenger-Hunt BINGO card before exploring the monuments along the trails. Once you return to the visitors center, let a park ranger know to receive a super cool wooden junior ranger badge! This historic park commemorates the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, a significant event during the American Revolutionary War. Families can explore the battlefield trails and learn about the history through interpretive exhibits, guided tours, and living history demonstrations. The park has about 5 miles of walking trails to follow the monuments and picnic areas, providing a great opportunity for kids to connect with the past and enjoy the outdoors.

Mayo River State Park | Mayodan

Mayo River State Park offers paddling, swimming, and hiking along the Mayo River. The Mayo River Trail takes you on an effortless journey with incredible pay off. Explore the impressive Fall Creek Falls and the sandy shores along the beautiful Mayo River. The trail is 1.9 miles one way, or a total of 3.8 miles out and back. It’s almost flat with very little grades or stairs. This is a great family-friendly trail that lets you explore the Northern edge of our State in an up-and-coming State Park. Read our blog on the mayo river here! 

Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Guide at the visitor center or print your own from the documents list on the website link!

The Piedmont Environmental Center | High Point

This 376-acre nature preserve offers numerous hiking trails, educational programs, events and a variety of habitats for kids to explore. They have interactive exhibits, live animal displays, and a Discovery Room for hands-on learning. Check their events calendar for more info. The PEC is the start and midpoint of 10 natural surface, and paved trails. For a natural surface trail we suggest trails #1 #2 #3 #4 and #5 because they stay close to the Piedmont Environmental Center. For a paved surface, great for wheels, check out #10 the Bicentennial greenway! 

Haw River State Park | Browns Summit

Haw River State Park is a great destination for outdoor adventures. It offers hiking trails, fishing spots, and canoeing or kayaking opportunities along the Haw River. The park also has a visitor center where kids can learn about the local flora and fauna. 

Kids visiting the park for the day can complete activities in the guide, attend park-led programs, complete small community service projects given by park staff, participate in the EcoExplore program, and hike in the park. Doing these activities earn acorns. Upon caching 20 acorn points, Junior Rangers can receive the park’s unique Junior Ranger patch.

Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Guide at the visitor center or print your own from the documents list on the website link!

Yadkin River Trail at Tanglewood Park | Clemmons

Tanglewood Park is a large recreational area with beautiful gardens, lakes, and open spaces. It offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Perfect for picnicking, fishing, and swimming. The park also has playgrounds and a farm with animals that kids can visit. We suggest bringing some binoculars, and visiting the Yadkin River Trail. Tanglewood Park, in partnership with Forsyth Audubon Society have posted interpretive wildlife signage along the trail to help you identify and learn about the diverse Aves in the area. Grab your binoculars and have a beautiful day along the Yadkin River! There is a park fee. Check the website for up to date entry fee info. 

Pilot Mountain State Park

Pilot Mountain State Park offers an array of exciting activities for kids to partake in. Whether it’s climbing to the summit of the iconic Pilot Mountain or embarking on one of the park’s nature trails, children can immerse themselves in outdoor adventures. Furthermore, the park’s designated picnic areas and trails provide ample opportunities for families to enjoy a fun-filled day of recreational activities together.

Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Guide at the visitor center or print your own from the documents list on the website link!

Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch | Greensboro

This nature themed library is located on 98 acres of eternally protected by the Piedmont Land Conservancy that contains a bird and butterfly meadow, reading garden, walking trails, ponds, and wetlands. In addition to popular collections, the library also has an extensive collection of nature, gardening, and environmental resources for children and adults.

Check out the events calendar to find unique outdoor events for your kiddos! 

Check out the ecoEXPLORE activities along the Evergreen trail!

Hanging Rock State Park | Danbury

Hanging Rock State Park offers a wide range of engaging activities for kids to enjoy. From hiking along scenic trails to splashing in the park’s swimming area, children can experience the wonders of nature firsthand. Additionally, the park’s ranger-led programs, including wildlife education and nature crafts, provide educational and entertaining opportunities for young visitors to learn and explore.

Pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Guide at the visitor center or print your own from the documents list on the website link!

Saxapahaw Island Park | Saxapahaw

Saxapahaw boasts 4.85 miles of trail, all riverside! See this map for all the trails in the area. A favorite is Saxapahaw Island Park, a island in the middle of the river that is home to a 1.5 mile loop and the famous and fun 45 foot long fish playground.  Check out the ecoEXPLORE activities on site!

Need nature adventure gear? The Alamance County Public Libraries are ecoEXPLORE LoanSpots where participants can borrow day packs filled with nature science equipment to help make observations!

Make it a day trip and stop in at the Saxapahaw General Store for some fantastic food!