You loved hiking before baby, and after baby came you carried her all over our local trails. Now she’s bigger, harder to carry, and a bit more opinionated. How do you get her to keep exploring Portland’s parks with you? The team at Super Nature Adventures—a cool local, family-owned company— is here to help with clever maps and trail activities! Read to find out more about this family outdoor adventure company and how they can keep your clan on the trails.
Nature-Focused Activity Packs
Focusing on easy beginner trails around the Portland area, a Super Nature Adventure packet comes with an illustrated map, field guide, stickers, and all the info you need for a nature adventure! The kid-friendly map is on clever waterproof paper for all-weather fun. It shows important landmarks and fun things to watch out for like a good resting bench or a crazy tree stump. The field guide doubles as an activity packet with coloring pages, and offers hints about what’s super special on their trail, like if it’s a good place to find mushrooms or slugs. And finally, stickers help kids turn the hike into a scavenger hunt—see a spider web or a robin? Put a sticker on your map to mark the place!
How it Started
Bryna Campbell and Mike Murawski, the mom and dad duo of Super Nature Adventures, created their clever outdoor activity packets based on their time hiking with their own son. Once he outgrew carriers and piggy back rides, he started to protest hiking. In trying to come up with a way to engage him in nature more, Mike drew a silly map one day, and used a set of office label to make nature stickers—and it was a hit! Now Bryna and Mike, both educators and passionate outdoor adventurers, collaborate on their packets, offered as a monthly subscription service.
One of the guiding mantras of Super Nature Adventures is from the naturalist Rachel Carson: “It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.” Awakening a sense of love, joy, and wonder at the natural world is their goal. And in the meantime, it’s a really fun way to explore outside!
What You Get
Each pack focuses on a local trail great for kids, all easy to reach within 30 miles of Portland. Along with the fun stuff for kids, it comes with all the information a parent will need like accessibility, restrooms, hiking distance, and park hours. As part of the monthly subscription, kids get mail every month (the best!) that promises a fun adventure, and parents get a pre-screened, no-stress outdoor location to explore. (They might even learn something, too, like that Canemah Bluff in Oregon City was a major canoe landing location was for Native Americans!)
Who’s it For?
Super Nature Adventures is for young adventures and their whole families. All ages can get involved, from toddlers looking for birds and using stickers, early readers just learning how to form words, or older kids guiding through group with the map. The packs turn a regular outdoor hike into a cool scavenger hunt for local wildlife or geology. And for parents, it’s a fun way to learn a few things and be introduced to nearby places you might not have known about, like Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, or Tualatin Hills Nature Park. And don’t worry—you don’t have to shop at adventure stores or be “outdoorsy” to enjoy the trails. These packets simply promise easy, quality family time outside.
The team takes incredible care in choosing seasonally-appropriate places with trails that are appropriate for small legs, all year round. In the spring, hikes focus on wildflowers like at Powell Butte, or the (harmless!) garter snakes at Wapato Greenway on Sauvie Island. In the fall, trails have focused on migratory birds and fall fungi.They always include special details that kids will love to look for, helping get the focus back on the weird, wacky, and amazing natural world.
Subscriptions are an easy way to get discounted packets delivered right to your door, but individual packets are available online, and you can also check out the local stores Bridge City Kid, Made You Look, and the store at Tryon Creek State Natural Area for packets and activity booklets. Follow along online to catch word of their free group hike every month and news of upcoming locations. Watch for May when they’ll explore the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where families can spy on ospreys during their nesting season!
Monthly subscription options include 3 months at $14.50/mo, 6 months at $13.50/mo, and 12 months at $12.99/mo, as well as 25% discount on special seasonal releases.
Individual Packets are $14.99. Packets are offered in the monthly subscription first, then are made available online later for individual sale.
Have you tried Super Nature Adventures? What are your favorite trails for the kids? Tell us in the comments below!
— Copy by Katrina Emery, photos courtesy of Super Nature Adventures