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.
- A ratio of 1 adult to 7 students for elementary school students is respected.
- Carry a map. Each teacher and volunteer in your group should have one. Maps are available at the ticket booth.
- 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.
$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 1st to October 31th) trail access is free for schools participating in the Youth-Nature Program or for primary schools in Brome Missisquoi.
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.
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 (2 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!
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, usually 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.
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
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:
Dogs are not permitted on school hikes or hikes with groups of students.
What to wear
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.