Markham Nature Area in Concord
The Markham Nature Area is a hidden little treasure. It's one of those places we stumbled upon by semi-accident and was amazed that we had not known about it before. Plus it's free.
There are three distinct areas or features of the Markham Nature Area:
The Tree Walk – this is an easy dirt walking trail. Along the path are various trees, many of which are marked with numbers. At the beginning of the trail you can pick up a map that will give you the name of each numbered tree.
I was surprised how much my kids liked the tree walk. They loved carrying the map, finding the tree numbers, and looking up the type of tree from their map. Honestly, I think if I took them back today, they wouldn't be able to remember a single tree name, but they still had fun. Plus, my preschooler had been confused about reading two-digit numbers; she tended to read them backward. By the end of the Tree Walk, she was an expert in reading two digit numbers because she wanted to be in charge of the map so much.
The International Garden – This is a shorter walking trail that passes through a garden that has been planted with plants from around the world, and arranged by region. The international areas include: Australia, Asia, South America, Africa, California, the Eastern U.S., the Mediterranean, and Europe.
My kids were less excited about this part of Markham Nature Area than the Tree Walk, but there were enough strange and interesting plants to hold their interest for a quick walk though. I liked that each plant had a little plaque with its name on it.