What we're about
Do you want to learn more about the many beautiful natural areas in and near Columbia and Howard County? Are you curious about the natural world all around us—birds, butterflies, wildflowers, and more? Do you just want to get out and take a walk in the woods?
Our area is amazingly rich in natural areas to explore. Columbia has almost 100 miles of trails that wind through the woods and around lakes. Howard County has 30+ parks and natural areas—many with some really nice trails.
Our Meetups are short, easy and slow-paced walks of about 1 to 2 miles. We take time to learn about and experience nature—birds, butterflies, insects and other critters, as well as trees, wildflowers, rocks and more. On a typical walk, we’ll stop often to look and listen—using field guides, our phones, and all the trivia in our heads to identify things and share that information with others. (Warning: we might stand in one place for 5 minutes or more, figuring out a bird song or tracking down a butterfly.)
• All ages—including well-supervised and interested kids accompanied by an adult.
• All levels of interest. No special background knowledge or degree required—just an eagerness to learn and share.
We are NOT:
• A fitness group. Exercise is not our primary goal—though we’ll get a little!
• A hiking group. Our walks are mostly short, easy and slow.
• An adventure group. No kayaking or bike trips here!
There are plenty of other Meetup groups that focus on those interests (e.g., Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group)
Please do not bring pets. There are several great local Meetups specifically for group dog walks (e.g., Columbia Dogs on the Go, On a Leash).
Please dress appropriately—that is, prepare for weather, sunshine and bugs. Bring plenty of water. You may also want to bring field guides, binoculars, cameras, notebooks and snacks.
At this time, we are not planning to schedule featured experts to lead us. (However, we will welcome any who want to join us!) The walk leader’s role is to organize the logistics and to encourage everyone to mingle, observe, ask questions, stick pretty close together, and have a good time.
This is a new group. We will grow and evolve with our interests and input. So please give it a try!
NOTE: By joining this group, members agree not to hold Columbia Nature Walks or the Organizers/Event Hosts responsible in the event of an accident, personal injury, destruction or loss of property, or loss of life. Walking with the group is done at the individual members' own risk.