A Hike or a Nature Walk?

Do you call it a hike or a nature walk?  Is there a difference?  Don't they both involve going for a walk outside?  For us, our answers are it depends, it depends, and yes. 

Let's start with the obvious.  Yes, both hikes and nature walks involve going outside and walking.  However, for some the similarity ends there, and so it does for us.  So, how do we delineate between a hike and a nature walk?  Well, quite simply by determining the main purpose of the walk.

If we are going for exercise...it is a hike.

If we are going to climb the mountain for the view...it is a hike.

If we are teaching the children how to navigate through the woods, survival skills, reading maps and trail markers, or finding geocache boxes...it is a hike.

If we are exploring along the trail, looking for various types of moss, lichens, or fungi...it is a nature walk.

If we plan to stop and examine different kinds of rocks...it is a nature walk.

If we are learning to identify trees by their bark or leaves...it is a nature walk.

If we scan the skies and tree tops in search of some birds...it is a nature walk.

If we carefully tread through a creek trying to find tadpoles {polliwogs}...it is a nature walk.

While sometimes during a hike, we may stop to stare at a woodpecker or to distinguish one fern from another, it is the main purpose or reason for the walk that determines, for us, if it is a hike or a nature walk.

Yet, despite what we call it, our favorite part of an outdoor walk is enjoying God's creation.


  1. Very good points and I'm always not sure how to post about them : D. Although, I'll admit, around here all our walking outings end up being a workout in order to get the little ones to complete any two way destination routes. Usually, the intent for mom is nature study and for dad it's exercise; in the end it is a fresh breath of God's creation ; )

    1. I am now thinking I should have added that into the mix - if Daddy is along, then it is a hike. He likes to conquer the mountain or trail, but will definitely stop to explain something (just not too long!)


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