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“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”

– Mary Ann Evans (a.k.a. George Eliot)

A childhood filled with nature—and a lifetime honoring her—that’s my wish for all of us.

About the site…..


Sort by state and then town and/or tag (e.g. “Bikeable,” “Stroller Friendly,” or “Open Meadows”), then click “filter” and your filtered set of footpaths will load. If the feature you’re interested in isn’t listed, please send us a note.


The “MAP” page shows you the location of each footpath. Each icon links to the trail’s description page.

“DIRECTIONS” on each page links to the parking area on Google Maps.

“TRAIL MAP” links to the best trail map we could find for that specific preserve.

“LEARN / SUPPORT” links to additional information about the site and/or the affiliated organization which would be thrilled to receive your donation or volunteer service.


Mentioned in some footpath descriptions are books we love that seem brought to life in the preserves we paired them with. The idea came about while reading “Wild Robot” by Peter Brown; my son and I started seeking out island footpaths as reading pads. We imagined the story unfolding around us and discovered a- whole nother layer of adventure. Castle ruins and caves brought Astrid Lindgren’s “Ronia” to life. And we’ve started a list of secret gardens we can’t wait to visit once spring comes and we can start on Frances Hodson Burnett’s wonderful classic.


Preserves each have their own characters – as do wines – and sometimes they overlap. I first made that discovery at Rogers Preserve, which I find green, vivid and wilder than expected – it reminded me of an Austrian Grüner Veltliner wine. The comparison of a wine to a footpath is enough of a stretch that it requires really ruminating on the unique qualities of both forms of nature – and appreciating both more as a result.