Exploring Outdoors

Exploring Nature with Kids

jessalyn prins photography family and lifestyle photographer

Staring out through the window at a colorless sky, dirty snow covering our fields, and no hope of sunshine to be seen I made myself a promise.

This summer. This summer I would not complain it was too hot. This summer I would forget the annoyance of bug bites. This summer I would fully embrace outdoor adventure.

I created a list of local conservation areas and firmly decided that I would visit them all.

It’s late August and I feel like I have kept my promise. We haven’t quite explored them all, but that’s okay. It’s mostly because we have fallen in love with three or four of them and can’t keep away!

Let me tell you the first time I took my boys on an adventure hike I wasn’t so sure. They weren’t either. I wore Conlin on my back and held Caden’s hand encouraging him forward. He was interested, but not overly. He wasn’t quite sure what to do and really just wanted me to pick him up and carry him the almost 2k hike.

Pretty sure that first hike ended in tears.

But now - he now races ahead, bucket for his treasures banging the side of his legs as he runs. He stops and digs in the dirt, he clambers onto fallen logs, he yanks off his clothes and splashes into shallow creeks. He loves being in the wild.

And I do to!

I have learned to embrace the weather, embrace the bugs, embrace and rediscover the childlike joy of every new and almost familiar discoveries around each corner.

Get outside! Grab a map and explore the many trails, little bridges, and wildlife of our Ontario conservation areas.

Let the little ones lead; take it at their pace. Bring snacks, a bucket for treasures, and a willingness to let go and just be. Don’t worry about muddy clothes, dirty hands, or bulging pockets (because the bucket is never enough). Embrace your surroundings.

And keep going back!

The more we go, the more we discover; and really, the more fun we have! Last time we went we were four hours before we emerged again, and they still weren’t ready to leave. (But mommy was. She ate all the snacks).


There is so much magic to be had outside on an adventure hike. When my kids started to get more comfortable with the Quinte area wild I started to bring my camera and document their adventures. I love being able to bring my passion for lifestyle and family photography into the outdoors and capture the kids exploring their earth.