There 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.
We offer free guided philosophy walks (a.k.a. ‘Merlin Meanderings’) every month 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.
Philosophy Walks on the Radar
August Philosophy Walk – Date, Topic & Location TBD
Our September Philosophy Walk will be geared for adults (though kids are welcome). Date, topic & Special Guest Speaker TBD. Bring a sack lunch and/or snack. $10 suggested donation. A background or training in philosophy is not necessary to participate. See below for directions to Merlin Nature Preserve.
Our Halloween-themed October Philosophy Walk on Sunday, October 29th will be geared for kids and includes a hayride & a special guest storyteller! More information coming soon. See below for directions to Merlin Nature Preserve.
November Philosophy Walk – Date, Topic & Location TBD
December Philosophy Walk (weather permitting) – Date, Topic & Location 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)
- 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 (approx. 1-12 people)
- Ample opportunity to enjoy nature
In addition, in order to facilitate philosophical dialogue, we will announce a topic of discussion on our website & via our ‘Merlin Mailer’ approx. 1 week prior to our meandering. This will:
- Allow time for you to ruminate on things that might be important to you (within that topic of discussion)
- Encourage you to develop questions & explore possible solutions or further areas of exploration
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 caravan 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.
Due to nature preserve logistics, registration and/or confirmation of attendance for our Merlin Nature Preserve Philosophy Walks are required. Because these philosophy walks will be on the preserve, please plan on arriving approx. 30 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].
Philosophy Walk Donations
First things first & bottom line — our Merlin Meanderings are free. Donations (by definition, in fact) are not required, though they definitely help to keep us going and we gladly welcome them.
Whether you are an active Merlin Meanderings walker or a community member who is unable to participate but loves the idea and wants to support the cause, you can donate to our philosophy walks in several ways: (a) in person, (b) via check, or (c) via our website.
Please remember, too, that we are a 501(c)(3) organization. This means that your donations are tax-deductible! Woot-Woot!
To Donate In Person
You can visit us at our in-town office anytime. We are located at 119 Reeder’s Alley, Helena MT 59601. Or if you are on a philosophy walk & wish to donate, you can do so then!
To Donate By Check
Please make checks out to ‘Merlin CCC‘ and mail to PO Box 2034, Helena MT 59624. Don’t forget to include ‘Donation’ in the memo line.
To Donate By Credit Card or Debit Card
Please select the ‘Donate Now‘ button (located on the sidebar of our website) and complete the donation form.
To read some local press about our organization & our philosophy walks, see page 6 of the Montana Wilderness Association Wild Divide Chapter Newsletter.