By: Robin Ruehrwein
Have you ever been to the Sheep Pasture in Easton? If you haven’t, I’m going to tell you why my kids and I love it there so much & maybe you’ll be inspired to go check it out.
The Sheep Pasture is owned by the NRT (Natural Resources Trust) of Easton and here’s a little bit about that organization from their website:
“The Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) is a member-supported, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate about significant natural and cultural resources and to acquire and preserve land of special character for the benefit of the public. The NRT promotes a land ethic in the community through educational programming. The NRT provides leadership, cooperation and networking to others with a similar mission”.
Anyone who grew up in Easton, like I did, went on many, many field trips to the Sheep Pasture in elementary school. Whether it was to hike through the woods, visit with the animals, or get some sort of “nature” related lesson, we seemed to visit the Sheep Pasture several times each year. I vividly remember one field trip (in 4th grade I believe) in which they shaved a sheep and spun yarn with the wool. Yup, right then and there – they spun the wool right from the shavings they took that day. It was pretty cool and it has always been my wish that my kids could experience that.
I think my personal favorite thing about the Sheep Pasture is all the gorgeous scenery. It’s 154 acres in total, and there is so much to see and do there.
One of the things that I like to do with my boys when we visit is hike the trails. The majority of the trails there are very family friendly. My boys just turned 4 & 7 and they love walking the trails looking for insects and animal tracks, and picking up sticks and rocks. I’ve been bringing them there for years, so it’s appropriate for toddlers, too. The trails are gravel and dirt, so a stroller may not fare so well, but if your little ones can walk, they are old enough to go.
Sure, you can hike into the woods, but that’s probably something I’d personally save for when the kids are a little older. The trails get narrow and can be a bit tougher to tackle.
Once your done with your hike, head on over and visit with the animals. There are ducks, hens, roosters, turkeys, bunnys, a pony, goats and sheep – and that’s not to mention the “wild” animals that you might run into such as snakes, frogs, butterflies and bunnies. There’s also a turkey on the loose that hangs out sometimes, but we didn’t see him on our last visit. He’s pretty shy and runs away anytime we try to get close.
Here’s the chicken coup:
And there are several picnic tables there, so be sure to pack a lunch!
The pony, sheep, and goats aren’t right next to the chickens, turkeys, and ducks, but they are in pretty close proximity, so if you wanted to skip the hike, all the animals are on the same side of the Sheep Pasture.
There are two parking areas inside the Sheep Pasture. You actually have to pull onto the property. One parking area is near the animals/educational buildings and the other is over by the old foundation (you can’t miss it). Many years ago, the property was privately owned and there was a sprawling estate on the land, but all that’s left now is the foundation. If you’re interested, there are books at the Ames Free Library in Easton that contain photos of what the property used to look like. I’ve seen ’em and they’re quite interesting.
So, remember to pack a lunch and bring some quarters, bug spray, sunblock & your camera for a super fun day at the Sheep Pasture with the kiddos. And did I mention, it’s completely FREE? Yes, free.
If you liked this idea, be sure to check out my personal blog, Masshole Mommy, for other ideas!