Walking Journal / Walking / Writing

Walks in Nature

. 7 min read . Written by Russell Smith
Walks in Nature

30 Tramps, Saunters, Hikes, Strolls, Jaunts and Rambles


Over the summer, I reflected on my recent walks in downtown Louisville. It reminded me how little of my walking occurs in nature. In the mid-1800s, barely a mile from Concord, Henry David Thoreau might trek off from Walden Pond for ten or twenty miles of sauntering in the deep, wild woods. Today, in the early 2000s, most of us live in urban areas. We can find nature but we must seek it out. We must go to it.

From July 19th to September 30th, I took  30 walks in nature. What counts as nature? For me, to keep it simple, I meant green. I walked in forests, farms, parks, random slivers of green, and graveyards.

Why 30? Because taking 30 walks in nature took forethought, effort and some care. I did not repeat any location. I coveted this opportunity to expand my horizons. I have lived in Louisville more than half my life and yet I felt that I knew it in only a shallow way. To enlarge my own knowledge of my city, it seemed fitting to walk in verdant nature, symbolizing growth. To gain knowledge of the world and runes, Odin, the one-eyed all-father, did not travel to the towns of humanity or to Asgard, the dwelling of his fellow gods. No, for nine days he hung himself on Yggdrasil, the tree of life.

You’ll note a new section of my website: Walking Journal. I recorded my notes, reflections, thoughts, wonderings, ponderings, musings, questions, doubt, despairs and loves about each walk here – and I will do so for my walks going forward. 

Below is the list of walks. You can click right to the walk that calls out to you and meander over time. 

In coming weeks, I will share some broader reflections and other notes from these 30 Walks in Nature. I hope you enjoy reading them at least a fraction as much as I enjoyed the walking and writing. 

Take a Beautiful Walk in Nature Today!

Ever, Russell

The Walks

Walk 1 – Central Park
I felt nature slowing me down
Walk 2 – Riverside, the Farnsley-Moreman Landing
Do we get days like this in Heaven?
Walk 3 – Gnadinger Park
Nature thrived – even in Louisville’s smallest park
Walk 4 – Labyrinth at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
I felt a sense of arrival
Walk 5 – Breslin Park
A walk that haunted me
Walk 6 – Our (Cough …. My Wife’s) Garden
In which I reflect on some of the innumerable ways my incredible wife supports our family
Walk 7 – Thurman-Hutchins Park and Patriots Peace Memorial
Noise. Then immersion in thinking and writing
Walk 8 – Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve
The wildest walk yet
Walk 9 – Western Cemetery
In which I castigate the foolish and sentimental recounting of the death of “Stonewall” Jackson
Walk 10 – Jefferson Memorial Forest
I loop around a lovely lake in America’s largest urban forest
Walk 11 – Falls of the Ohio
“Now move at least a little out of my sun.”
Walk 12 – George Rogers Clark Park
Wildness and history. Wildness and patience
Walk 13 – Karen Lynch Park
Um, Karen deserves better
Walk 14 – a Walk in ‘Nature’
Darn that nature is goo....oood for the body and soul!
Walk 15 – Blackacre Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead
Breath is LIFE!
Walk 16 – A.B. Sawyer Park
I want to wear these boots out
Walk 17 – Arthur K. Draut Park
Serendipity Sunday
Walk 18 – Contemplative Garden at Spalding University
Stillness, walking, writing and speaking
Walk 19 – Chickasaw Park
We would not be human without water and wood
Walk 20 – Half-Moon Green Space
Breathing life to words, calling them into a prayer
Walk 21 – Cave Hill Cemetery
I had to come see Dad
Walk 22 – Locust Grove
I don’t know Louisville
Walk 23 – Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
Reflecting on faith, patriotism, leadership and buglers
Walk 24 – Iroquois Park
I felt crestfallen and gloomy
Walk 25 – Whitehall
What a day!
Walk 26 – Papa John’s Park
Attack of the monster mallards
Walk 27 – Memorial Park
I welcome more trees, more nature, more encounters with the World Tree in my journey of life
Walk 28 – A Spiritual Companionship Walk
Creating the space for stillness to reflect on sojourns in life
Walk 29 – Holy Hills Hermitage
The day was enough. I was enough
Walk 30 – Twisted Nature Bonsai Open House
I am a grasshopper, a novice, a beginner

Photography by Russell Smith. Image created by Midjourney. Amazon Affiliate links throughout the series. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.