A few weeks ago, I traveled to Opal Creek with my friends. The road in was AWFUL (beware) but the hike was beautiful. Not only does this ancient forest offer hiking, the facility can be used for Outdoor School trips, field trips, professional development, or a weekend away in a cabin.
If you are looking for a new adventure, check out Opal Creek. We arrived early to avoid the potential parking nightmare we heard about ahead of time and were glad to have hit the trail when we did. We hiked through Jawbone Flats, an old mining settlement, and onto Opal Pool. There are several other trails in the Wilderness Area, too.
A few years ago, I attended an overnight teacher workshop at Opal Creek. The workshop was great and the food was even better! We learned about using nature in our curriculum and gained resources for getting our students outside. One new-to-me idea presented was called a bio-blitz. In this activity, students divide into groups and each group has a specific area. In their area, students observe and record as many living things as they can in a certain amount of time. You can tailor this to defined organisms or traits, or just go for an all-encompassing list. When the students return to the large group, the lists are discussed. This is a really wide-open description as the activity can be wide-open, too.
My friend and colleague chaperoned another trip to Opal Creek with a group of high school students. That trip was for biology students. The staff at Opal Creek ran each of the learning events and kept the students engaged and learning during their overnight visit.
Opal Creek also offers Outdoor School experiences for younger students. 🙂
Have you been to Opal Creek? Do you have other places for field trips you recommend? Please share with us! 🙂