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) throughout the year.  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.

Summer Philosophy Walks

JUNE 2018

Ideas, History, Values & Design
Check out what we explored & pics here!
JULY 2018

Due to our participation in the NEH Summer Institute at Wesleyan University, there will be NO July Philosophy Walk.

Fall-Winter Philosophy Walk Series

Fall Series Walk 1

“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”

LOCATION TBD

Sunday, 9/09/18 (10am-1pm)
  • The first in our Fall-Winter philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall-Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will explore the topic of public vs. private lands and individual rights, collective rights, indigenous/native american rights & other rights. 

Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail

  • Shane M. Doyle, EdD — Independent Educational &  Cultural Consultant, Native Nexus Consulting
  • Edward Glowienka, PhD — Assistant Professor in Philosophy, Carroll College
  • TBD

Fall Series Walk 2

“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”

LOCATION TBD

Sunday, 11/11/18 (10am-1pm)
  • The second in our Fall-Winter philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall-Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will explore the topic of landowner/steward-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
  • Jim Williams, MA — Natural Resources Manager (20+ Years)
  • Christopher Preston, PhD — Professor of Philosophy, University of Montana

Fall Series Walk 3

“The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship”

LOCATION TBD

Sunday, 3/03/19 (10am-1pm)
  • The third in our Fall-Winter philosophy walk series in conjunction with our Fall-Winter Philosophy Symposium Series about the environment, ethics & conservation stewardship.  This walk will explore the topic of current & future environmental and conservation challenges.  

Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail

  • Thomas Baumeister, PhD — Education Supervisor, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Game, Board Member, Orion — The Hunter’s Institute, Executive Director, Montana WILD & Adjunct Professor, Carroll College
  • Mark Smillie, PhD — Professor of Philosophy, Carroll College
  • Tyrell Hibbard — Rancher, Land Steward, Business Owner, Gulch Distillery & Sieben Live Stock Co. Ranch — TBD

 

October Philosophy Walks

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7TH

Nature & Friendship

LOCATION TBD

(10am-12pm)

More information about the kinds of philosophical questions we will be exploring on this walk to be added soon…

Guest Speaker/Co-Philosopher on Trail

  • Marie Z. Bourgeois — Civil Engineer & Biomimicry Specialist
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28TH

Halloween-Themed Philosophy Hayride-Walk for Kids

MERLIN NATURE PRESERVE

(10am-1pm)

Wear your Halloween costumes & get ready for fun!  This philosophy 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.

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]

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

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