Arriving at Our Site

When you arrive at our site (head to our Contact Us page for address details & directions), there are some important things to note. Pulling into the driveway, you’ll notice a little laneway immediately to the right – this is our “drop-off” lane, a great place to stop quick to drop off the kids during one of our school-age programs, or to park along the side of when our parking lot is too snowy or muddy to navigate. In dryer weather, you’re welcome to pull into the large grassy parking lot area and park in orderly rows starting along the tree line directly across from the laneway.

We do not have marked parking spaces and rely on drivers to navigate slowly, and park in a way that does not block access to others or put children entering/exiting vehicles in danger. We also ask that you enter the parking lot via the first access to the laneway, and then head back onto the driveway (and out to the road) at the other end of the laneway. This keeps traffic moving in a safe and orderly fashion.

Once you are parked, you’ll notice the large tree with the yellow “SLOW Children at Nature Play” sign – head there to find the way in!

The Way In

Come prepared to walk 500m into the clearing – a beautiful trail that invites you to leave your troubles behind as you wander deeper into nature. We have access to a lovely, wide road allowance as the first half of our trail in. We are constantly working to improve our signage, but we keep the trail mowed and maintained to make it more visible and easier to follow. Head straight back on the road allowance, past the sailboat (yes, there’s a sailboat!) until you come to a fork – then head left. Follow that trail, keeping to the right, until you can see the yurt! Welcome to the clearing!

On your way out, keep to the left until you reach the road allowance and then head right. We know that you can see the parking lot before you get to the road allowance, but resist the urge to cut through the field, and stick to the trail instead.

*Note – this trail is stroller-friendly if you have an all-terrain stroller, and accessible for most wagons.

The Clearing

Our home base, our headquarters, where we start and end each day. This magical circular clearing was already established for us when we arrived – we aren’t really sure what this space was used for before, but it so perfectly hugs us and creates a large, safe, grassy space, where we can spread out to play, learn and grow. In our clearing you will find our yurt, outhouse, fire pit, bird feeding tree, mud kitchen and loose parts storage.

There are trees for shade and boulders for climbing on, room to run around, build, create, dance, enjoy circle time, and more! If you’re joining us for Acorns & Oaks or a drop-in event, this is where you’ll want to start, this is where we will be waiting to welcome you.

The Yurt

In the way that our circular clearing hugs us and provides a safe space, our yurt does much the same thing on a smaller and cozier scale. A modern twist on the traditional Mongolian yurt, ours is of a simpler design with quieter interior colours and large windows, plus a wood stove. It is our haven when the weather is less inviting, a place to warm up on chilly days, to recharge & to dry our clothes after cold, wet adventures in the woods, to enjoy our snacks & breaks out of the wind & snow, to craft with our nature finds & scribble in our nature journals. The walls are lined with bookshelves overflowing with books, loose parts, tools, crafting materials, and more.

Our yurt would not exist without the generosity of our community. In September 2019, we ran a month-long Kickstarter campaign to raise the $20,000 needed to purchase the yurt, wood stove, and materials for the deck & floor that it rests on. Thank you to each and every community member that helped us raise this yurt! Check out this incredible list of Our Sponsors!

The Woods

With access to nearly more than 90 acres of forests and meadows, we truly have a very special place to play, learn & grow. The woods offer us shelter from the hot sun, the cold winds, the rain, the snow, and more. They provide ample space to explore all of our curiosities and chase all of our wonders. They are full of discoveries waiting to be made, trees waiting to be climbed, rocks waiting to be upturned.

When you follow the trail from the clearing into the woods, you’ll first come upon “Hammock City” as the children have so aptly named the place where our hammocks hang most often. From there you can head right towards “The Old Riverbed”, which is the rocky path of a small stream that remains dry most of the year but offers an excellent place for budding geologists to study their favourite subject: rocks! And a beech tree so large it takes a few people working together to give it a full hug. If you head left instead, you’ll come to “The Balancing Tree” (formerly “The Clibimng Tree”), a fallen maple that offers the opportunity to test confidence and climbing skills for even the smallest of adventurers. Onward from there, you’ll discover “The Forest Kitchen”, a stick structure at the base of a big old cedar where you might be served ice cream, cake, omelettes or soup! And the old cedar has many a branch for climbing or swinging on ropes – plus some smaller nearby friends for hanging hammocks. Longer legs that wish to explore even further can discover meadows, fields, a sledding hill and an apple tree (that we often prefer to call “The Pirate Ship”).

Where will you spend your time in our woods?

Our Land Use Agreement

It is important to note that Kingston Forest & Nature School does not own the property on which we operate. This property is a working organic fruit and vegetable farm, and we have a land use agreement in place that determines how we may operate without causing conflict.

As visitors to the site, we ask that you respect signage, stick to the trail on the way in and out, stay out of the fields, and park only in the designated parking lot. We also ask you to leave no trace – pack out your own garbage, be respectful to nature, take only pictures and leave only footprints. We will do our best to make these expectations clear, and to keep trails/parking areas clearly marked, to make this an easy task for everyone.

Please be respectful of the landowners and DO NOT VISIT outside of program hours or without an appointment.

We need to work together to be able to continue sharing this incredible space with the family that lives here.

Smoking & Pet Policies

Kingston Forest & Nature School is a smoke-free and pet-free site.

Please DO NOT SMOKE anywhere on the property, including in the parking lot, on the trails, just outside the clearing, in the clearing, in the yurt, in the woods, etc.

Please LEAVE PETS AT HOME. If for some reason they must accompany you for drop-off/pick-up, please keep them in your vehicle.

Thank you for respecting these policies and keeping KFNS a safe place for everyone.

 

For all other policies, please see Our Policies.