Nature Study – Dana Points Headland

I’m a few weeks behind for our nature study posts so let’s see if I can catch up! 🙂

While Green Bubbles was at Cub Scout Day Camp, I took Wednesday off from volunteering to take Little Miss and Megatron out for our nature study.  We headed up to the Dana Point Headlands Interpretive Center and hiked down to the beach for some fun.2015-07-15 12.58.18

The nature center is really cool.  The staff is some of the nicest I’ve met and were quick to interact with both myself and my children.  They allowed Little Miss to explore to her hearts content and jumped in when she became interested in something to explain or help her with an activity.

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The center has puppets, puzzles, books, models of the area and a really cool display that explains the watershed.

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There is also a map of the trails that you can take from the center.  Some are short, out and back type trails.  Some are long 12 mile loops that follow the coastline.  I took a chance with Little Miss and we hiked down to Strands beach, 1 mile each way.  The hike is beautiful, up on the cliffs with the sea breeze helping you to stay cool.

2015-07-15 10.37.15She even carried her own sand toys since I had the backpack and Megatron in the ergo.  I always find it amusing how many people stop to tell me how brave I am when I take the kids out hiking.  There is one part of the trail that’s a little confusing since you leave through a gated area onto a street before getting back onto the trail again, but if you view the map carefully you’ll see it.

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The kids loved playing in the water, although today was mostly about the sand play and not much water happened.  We brought our lunch and ate it down on the beach.2015-07-15 11.15.29

The challenging part, which I knew it would be going into it, was the hike back up to the interpretive center.  Little Miss was getting tired and it took us twice as long going back as it did coming down, but she made it!  I told her over and over how proud I was of her.  That’s a long walk for a little girl.  Of course, I did end up carrying the sand toys back up.

If you have a chance to explore the interpretive center, I highly recommend it.  Even if you don’t hike down to the beach.  It’s close enough it’s very easy to drive down the road and park closer to the beach after your visit.

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