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Weekend Science Fun: Virtual Walks in the Woods

Did you ever wish you could take your children on a walk in the woods, but for whatever reason it was not possible? Here in Arizona when the temperature exceeds 115°F, we start looking for alternatives to a hike outside. Here are a few places for fun and educational virtual hikes. If nothing else these sites can give you ideas for things to do during actual walks.

Designed with children in mind:

The Smithsonian National Zoo has "A Walk in the Forest" with six different animated walks. One allows you to take soil samples and measure soil pH. Another helps you learn how to identify trees using keys. Each is led by an animation of a real employee of the zoo. How cool is that!

University of Illinois Extension has a virtual walk in the woods and Secret life of trees. Both show photographs of actual forests. There's a teacher's guide with ideas, resources and many extras.

For children or adults:

Ever wanted to visit a redwood forest? Muir Woods has a virtual tour. There are 92 photographs, and you get to choose where you look next. The virtual tour always has good weather.

Florida Hikes has slide shows from various Florida parks.Check out the giant snails at Pine Land. Isn't fun to see how different the landscape is at the different parks?

Finally, YouTube has a number of videos of walks. I like this one because the tour guide discusses, what else, science!

Hope you enjoy these virtual walks in the woods, and can talk your own walk soon.

Where's your favorite place for a hike?

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