Nature Trails With Tracking Signs

Nature Trails With Tracking Signs

Nature Trails With Tracking Signs

We get Mum Guilt for the simplest of things.  Rory was desperate to go to Beaver Camp but we had already booked a family holiday at the same time and so he couldn’t go.  I was equally sad for him.  As a Rainbow and Brownie leader, I have so many great memories of taking my girls away for both camps and holidays.

Whilst I cannot recreate the camaraderie of a Beaver Camp, I can help to create a sense of outdoor adventure.  We really enjoy going for walks at our local community woodlands and one of our favourite activities is doing a Nature Scavenger Hunt so a great next step for my boys is having a go at following a trail using traditional tracking signs.

Children love deciphering secret messages and codes.  It adds a great sense of excitement!  The basic symbols are quite straight forward to use too.  You could add even more excitement to your trail by adding a theme.  You could do a treasure hunt dressed as pirates or maybe hunt in the forest for a Gruffalo!

Here are four basic tracking signs to get you started:


You won’t be surprised to discover that an arrow is an indicator of where to go.  For younger children, you could put together a trail just using arrows.  If you are somewhere with a lot of stones or pebbles, you can also make a little tower of stones with one to the side.  The stone to the side will show which direction to go.  For children, I think the stick arrow is easier to spot and follow.


A cross means do not go this way.  This would be perfect if you have a fork in the pathway.  You could put the cross on one fork and an arrow on the one you wish your children to follow.  Alternatively, you could just put the cross so your children have to infer that they need to go the other way.


This symbol is an arrow crossing two sticks.  This is to indicate that there is an obstacle in the direction of the arrow.


A box with an arrow shows that there is a message in the direction of the arrow.  You could put smaller sticks in the box to show how many paces away the message is.  This symbol would be great for a treasure hunt to help the children find the next clue!

Once children has mastered the art of reading the signs, they’ll be able to set out trails for you, or their friends to follow which is a great way to enjoy being outside, getting exercise and most importantly having fun!

If you have a go at a Nature Trail, I’d love to see.  Do tag me in your photographs on social media.
I can be found on Instagram – @TiredButCraftyMummy and on Twitter – @TiredButCrafty1

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  1. This is a great post, we love following a trail so these symbols (which I’d never come across until now, apart from the simple arrow of course) would really add a bit of adventure. We recently did a buried treasure hunt which was fab! Great idea, thanks for sharing #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is SUCH a good idea! My sons love spotting the striped public footpath posts when we go for walks and I know they’d love this. Definitely giving this a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I Love these ideas, its the simple activities in the great outdoors
    I find light a spark with my kids, creating fantastic opportunities for their spiritual and sensory development x #dreamteam


  4. My son has just started doing some tracking at Cubs. He’s loving it. I remember doing some at school too. It’s always such a useful skill to learn. Thanks for linking up to #stayclassymama

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great idea, my youngest would love following arrows made out of sticks and what a fab start to learning about tracking signs. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] For the last few years, our family have taken part in the 30 Days Wild Challenge from the Wildlife Trust.   The idea is to try and do some kind of nature based activity each day.  They can be as simple as hugging a tree (that is one of their suggestions, and, I must admit,  we have done it when we have suddenly realised we haven’t done anything on a day!) or staring up at the clouds.  We have also done bigger activities such as making a butterfly feeder, going on a Nature Scavenger Hunt and having a go at tracking. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  7. love this idea! me, my hubby and 3 kids love a nice nature walk! we live right near woodlands, ruins and waterfalls, so this is defiantly something i will be giving a go. thank you for a great blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember doing this when I was in Brownies but I’ve never tried doing it with my children. It’s such a fun way of helping make a walk more interesting and helping them learn about tracking signs. We’ll have to try this at some point. Thank you for joining in with #CountryKids

    Liked by 1 person

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