Youth-Nature School Outings

Hiking on your own with students

If you are familiar with the PENS trail network you might prefer hiking with your students without a guide.

Please note the park installations don’t accommodate large groups of 30 or more without dividing them into smaller groups.

We recommend:

  1. A ratio of 1 adult to 7 students for elementary school students is respected.
  2. Carry a map. Each teacher and volunteer in your group should have one. Maps are available at the ticket booth.
  3. Separate your group if it is larger than 30 people. Dividing the group in two or more subgroups and choose different trails for the subgroups. Don’t all hike the same trail.

Group reservations are required - please contact the office at 450-538-4085.

Rates

$2/person (teachers and volunteers included) for groups of students under the age of 18 and 15 or more people in your group. Outside of high season (September 15 to October 15) trail access is free for schools participating in the Youth-Nature Program.

Reservations are required-Please call the information booth to reserve 450-538-4085.

Guided Tours

The PENS offers 1/2 day and full day educational and sport hikes for school groups.

  • Educational hikes: 3 themed hikes, trees (fall), animals (winter), birds (spring).
  • Sport hikes: Stretching and hiking with the possibility of a scavenger hunt.

Rates

The same rate applies for ½ day (3 hour minimum) and full day is $75.00. The Youth-Nature Program is free for Brome Missisquoi schools.

Reservations are required-Please call the information booth to reserve 450-538-4085.

Youth-Nature Program (3 visits per year)

The Youth-Nature Program strives to provide an opportunity for students to discover their own back yard, the Sutton Mountains. Through hiking we aim to foster a connection between young people and the forest. We believe outdoor experiences –with its risks, is essential to a child’s development!

To continue

Our bilingual program has been running since the 2015-2016 academic year. It is available to both French and English schools in the Brome-Missisquoi region (including Mansonville).

Schools participate in three guided hikes throughout the school year, one per season (fall, winter, and spring). The hikes last an entire day with groups arriving at the park around 9:00am and leaving around 2:00pm. The hikes are designed to give students an opportunity to become acquainted with their natural heritage while interacting with their peers and challenging themselves.

The educational component takes place on the way up the trail. The activities are designed to be self-directed, a guide is present to help facilitate the activities.

Teachers and parent volunteers are also needed to help facilitate the activity. The activity day ends when the destination is reached at which point students break to have lunch.

Youth-Nature Program Rates

Participation in the Youth-Nature program is completely free of charge for school groups under 30 students who are located in the Brome Missiquoi area. . There is a supplemental fee of $75/visit for groups larger than 30 students.

If your school is from outside the Brome Missisquoi area participation in the Youth-Nature program is $ 300 for 3 hikes over the school year (entrance fees included). There is a supplemental fee of $75/visit for groups larger than 30 students.

Transportation

The PENS Transportation Grant: Half (50%) of the transportation costs for schools in the Brome Missisquoi area and who are participating in the Youth-Nature program (3 hikes) are eligible. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested. Schools are also encouraged to carpool.

Group Level

1/2 day hikes are recommended for students in grades 2-3
Full day hikes (are recommended for students in grades 4-6*
*older students can also participate in 1/2 day hikes.

Supplemental Educational Material

If you wish to incorporate the hike subject into classroom lesson plans, the PENS can provides resources for preparation and follow-up on the activities. If interested send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registration

Registration for the Youth-Nature program takes place in May and June. If there is still room we occasionally accept a school later in the season. To sign up for the coming school year contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Benefits Of Spending Time In The Forest

At the PENS we aim to foster a connection between young people and the forest. We believe outdoor experiences –with its risks, is essential to a child’s development!

For further reading on this topic click here:

ParticipACTION 2015 - Highlight Report

Forest medicine: The health benefits of spending time in nature
Christina Shannon, ND, FABNO, November 17, 2014

General Instructions

Dogs

Dogs are not permitted on school hikes or hikes with groups of students.

What to wear

Please note we hike rain or shine! Bug spray and sunscreen is recommended for all outings. It’s best to check the weather the day before your hike and to remind the student s how to dress. Feel free to talk to call or email for trail conditions, 450-538-4085, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fall :layers are recommended. Running shoes or rubber boots, splash pants and a rain coat, hat and light gloves if it’s cool. If we have a warm fall bring a sun hat and sun screen.

Winter layers are recommended. Kids should be dressed in a winter coat and snow pants. Bring extra water proof gloves/mittens.

Spring layers are recommended. Winter boots or rain boots depending on the temperature. Rain/splash pants and a warm coat.

Please note there is often a 2 to 5 degrees temperature difference from the bottom of the trails and the top.

What to eat on the day of your hike

Hiking is a physical activity and kids enjoy the hike more when they are properly fed and hydrated. We recommend that the students eat breakfast before the hike and have extra snacks, their lunch and two water bottles on the hike.

If a student forgets their water bottle please mention it to the guide as we have extras.

Activity

January 19th - Full Moon Hike to Round Top
February 16th - Full Moon Hike to Sommet des Hollandais
March 23th - Full Moon Hike to Mohawk Lake
June 15th -Full Moon Hike to Sommet des Hollandais 
August 17th- Moonlit Hike to Mohawk Lake
September 14th- Full moon Hike to Sommet des Hollandais