My pictures are kind of dark since the sun was setting and there's not a whole lot of light under the tree canopy (shocking, I know). And of course, the one time I don't bring my nice camera up is the time we can go see the venue again. Ah well, at least I had the trusty point and shoot with me. But these are some of the areas that I'm really excited for people to get to explore while they're at IslandWood for the weekend (and if any of you who are coming are reading this, don't forget comfortable shoes, fleece and a rain jacket! Yeah, nothing like needing to remember to send people a packing list along with the invitation...)
We started out by the trail head that's right by the Ichthyology Lodge. I think this is one of the newer lodges built on the property, and it's separated a bit from the other three lodges which means that this will be where our loud and rowdy friends stay for the weekend!
Once we got on the path we visited the Bird Blind which overlooks a marsh (notice all the kid height-friendly cut outs available for little eyes to peek out of). I also loved the plaques all over the property noting who sponsored the building of various areas. I think IslandWood has done a great job of raising awareness for the need for an educational center like this and the community has really responded and continues to provide a lot of support for IslandWood.
After the Bird Blind we headed to the Tree House (pictured above) and the Learning Tree (pictured below). The Tree House had steps leading up to it and was built around the trunk of one of one of the trees overlooking the bog, but the Learning Tree had a bridge that went across to the entrance which meant that it was wheel chair accessible. They've thought a lot about how to make as many areas of the woods accessible to as many people as possible.
This is me attempting to pose like the Pioneer Woman whenever she takes shots in low light. I think she pulls off the hip-cock way better than I do. Oh well. More to the point, this is looking inside and seeing some of the desks and tree stump chairs inside the Learning Tree.
We also got to check out Mack's Pond which has a floating classroom with glass in the bottom to allow kids to look down into the pond. The floating classroom is attached to cables underneath the water and can be moved into the pond by using the hand cranks.
It was a beautifully clear evening when we were there and we got some great reflection shots of the trees surrounding the pond and the beautiful cloudy sky.
After some more meandering we ended our little tour of the woods with what I'd been looking forward to seeing the most - the suspension bridge! Yes I am very much like a little kid when it comes to bridges like this (I'm also a little bit afraid of heights, but I think that's part of the fun). Until B started bouncing and jumping to make the bridge sway even more. What a guy :)
Near the suspension bridge is the look out tower which allows you to see over the tree canopy. We didn't get a chance to go up there since we didn't have a guide, but hopefully we'll get a chance to climb it sometime before the wedding (pretty sure even if the views are spectacular I don't want to be climbing some 150+ steps in my wedding dress!).
I'm so glad that we got a chance to go over and walk the trails! It's made me that much more excited about getting to share this little piece of the island with all of our family and friends. I can't wait for it to happen already! (Oh right, so many other things to do before the wedding can happen though...)