Philosophy Walks

Merlin | Philosophy WalksThere are numerous reasons why getting out & about can help you live a healthier, happier, and more meaningful (deeply satisfying) life. Most people are aware of the physical benefits of being in nature, but there are also mental benefits.  Peripatetic philosophers such as the Ancient Greeks, for example, felt that there was a deep & intuitive connection between walking (in nature) & critical thought, so much so that they literally walked the earth & philosophized (hence the “prone to roam” moniker ‘peripatetic’).

We enthusiastically agree and feel that “getting your feet dirty” & “sittin’ in trees” is a critical part of philosophy. With this in mind, our philosophy walks aim to help you kick off your shoes, exercise your body & mind, and reconnect with nature in ways that help to promote health and happiness.

We offer philosophy walks for adults & elders, as well as children! To view pictures from our philosophy walk outings, please visit our Merlin Meanderings Archive page.

 Our Merlin Meanderings

We offer free guided philosophy walks (a.k.a. ‘Merlin Meanderings’) on Merlin Nature Preserve (and other local areas) Spring, Summer & Fall (and Winter – depending on weather).  The purpose of these fun meanderings are threefold — they allow an opportunity to: (1) exercise your body & mind, (2)  reconnect with nature, and (3) philosophically think about & discuss ideas and concerns that are important to you.  We will provide sign-up information and announce the date & location of our philosophy walks here.  You may also join our ‘Merlin Meanderings’  list to receive updates and/or contact us directly.

Spring & Summer Philosophy Walks

We will be adding dates, locations & topics for our 2018 Spring & Summer Walks soon.  Stay tuned..

  • April 2018
  • May 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018

Fall & Winter Philosophy Walks

Fall Series Walk 1
Location TBD
“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”
Saturday, Sept. 8th or Sunday, Sept. 9th
  • The first in our philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall/Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will feature 1-3 guest speakers and explore the topic of public vs. private lands and individual, collective, indigenous/native american rights & other rights. 

Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail

  • Shane M. Boyle, EdD — Independent Educational &  Cultural Consultant, Native Nexus Consultin
  • Edward Glowienka, PhD — Assistant Professor in Philosophy, Carroll College
  • TBD
Fall Series Walk 2
Location TBD
“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”
Saturday, Nov. 10th or Sunday, Nov. 11th
  • The second in our Fall philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall/Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will feature 1-3 guest speakers and explore the topic of landowner-wildlife and habitat relationships, including agricultural and ranching relationships.  

Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail

  • Patricia Heiser, PhD – Associate Professor of Earth Science in the Environmental Program, Carroll College
  • TBD
  • TBD
Halloween-Themed Philosophy Hayride-Walk for Kids
Merlin Nature Preserve
Sunday, October 28th 2018 (10am-1pm)
  • Our free October Merlin Meandering will take place on Sunday, October 28th from 10:00am – 1:00pm on Merlin Nature Preserve.  Wear your Halloween costumes & get ready for fun!  This walk will be geared specifically for kids and will have a Halloween & philosophy-based theme.  Special guest speaker/storyteller Martin Richard.  Plus…a hayride, hot apple cider, healthy, homemade treats & more!  Bring a sack lunch and/or snack.  Attendance by adults/parents/grandparents/siblings etc. is encouraged/welcome.   $10 suggested donation.  Space is limited.  Due to nature preserve logistics, registration and/or confirmation of attendance for our October Little Philosopher’s Walk is required.  Our group will meet in the Silver City Saloon parking lot & caravan to Merlin Nature Preserve. Registration information will be added to this page several months prior to our walk date.  Stay tuned.
Fall Series Walk 3
Location TBD
“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”
Saturday, Feb. 23rd or Sunday, Feb. 24th

OR

Saturday, March 2nd or Sunday, March 3rd

 

  • The third in our Fall philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall/Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will feature 1-3 guest speakers and explore the topic of current & future environmental and conservation challenges.  

Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail

  • Thomas Baumeister — Education Supervisor, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Game, Board Member, Orion — The Hunter’s Institute, Executive Director, Montana WILD & Adjunct Professor, Carroll College
  • TBD
  • TBD

What to Expect on Our Philosophy Walks

Here is  a general overview of what you can expect on our Merlin Meanderings:

  • Free to the Public (donations welcome/appreciated)
  • 2-3 hour walks (opportunities for rest along the way)
  • Casual, positive & supportive experience
  • 1-2 philosophy guides; guest/volunteer nature guides (as available)
  • Small group sizes (generally 1-12 people; may be larger for special occasion walks)
  • Ample opportunity to enjoy nature

To get the most out of your experience with us and enjoy a healthy & safe walk, please bring with you on the day of the walk/hike:

  • Water & Snack
  • Weather appropriate attire & sun protection
  • A walking stick/Trekking poles
  • Comfortable Shoes/Hiking Boots

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please e-mail [email protected], call our office at #406-204-0064, or our executive director & philosophy walk guide (Marisa) at #406-439-5788

Directions to Merlin Nature Preserve:  Our group will meeting in the Silver City Saloon parking lot located at 6042 Lincoln Road West.  From there we will take a hayride to Merlin Nature Preserve (approx. 3.5 miles from the SCS parking lot).  To reach the Silver City Saloon parking lot from Helena, take either the 15, N. Montana Ave. or Green Meadow Drive to Lincoln Rd.  Turn left onto Lincoln Road & head west (toward Marysville/Canyon Creek).  Drive roughly 6.5 miles.  Silver City Saloon will be on your right hand side.  Click here for google maps directions.

For walks on the preserve, please plan on arriving approx. 15 minutes before hike/walk start time. For more information about the meandering, please contact our executive director & philosophy walk guide (Marisa) at #406-439-5788 or e-mail [email protected]

Our 2017 Fall Philosophy Walks

Halloween-Themed Philosophy Walk for Kids

Merlin Nature Preserve

Sunday 10/29 (10am-1pm)

Fall Series Walk 2

Montana W.I.L.D.

Tuesday 10/17 (6:30pm-8:30pm)

Fall Series Walk 3

Merlin Nature Preserve

Sunday 11/12 (10am-1pm)

Thank you to P.L.A.T.O. for helping us to provide these activities to the Helena community!

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