I feel so lucky that we have Cannock Chase a short drive from us, so when the Forestry Commission put up The Stick Man Trail I knew we had to plan a visit. It is a beautiful place and there is so much to do and to explore. Not only for Boo now as a toddler but also when she is older, we have already done other trails and the Enchanted Forest Walk in the summer
We make the effort to go up to Cannock Chase as often as we can, especially in the summer. We were supposed to go visit The Stick Man trail last week but the weather and Boo being a bit under the weather – we decided to do this weekend instead. We were so lucky with the weather – it was a cold day and a little on the windy side but the sky was blue and it was dry.
We jumped into the car and set off, and then halfway there we realised that we had forgotten both Boo’s wellies and her Scampsuit, so we turned round and headed home to get them… (it’s a good job it’s not too far to drive isn’t it) we then set out again!
Once we arrived and got all wrapped up we headed to the play area as Boo loves that place – though it scares me a bit! She loves to climb and really isn’t scared of heights! After that we headed to the start of the trail complete with our Stick Man bag.
I think it’s a great idea to have this little bag, though it’s optional and I am sure the trail would be lots of fun without it. The packs costs £3 and are available on site. Boo wasn’t too fussed with the bag this time, she did keep wanting to hold the little leaflet and then let it go in the wind (mainly so her and daddy could run after it!) the second time my husband retrieved I decided I would be best holding it!
There are 6 colour character pictures to find on the walk as well as 8 activities to do at various points. The activities were perfect for children a little bit older than Boo, as Boo was more interested in finding the characters and picking up stones, sticks and mud on her way (and of course splashing in puddles).
The walk was a decent length though as we were approaching nap time Boo needed to be carried the last little but – but had we gone an hour earlier I have no doubt she would have been able to walk the whole trail.
The trail sticks to fairly wide paths and you would have no trouble getting a pram round. There are lots of other things to see and do along the route too, like some wooden sculptures, a small play area (which was, unfortunately closed due to the weather) and the larger play area which we started our adventure off in.
I think all in all, with various toddler inspired detours we were there just over an hour and if we had done the activities along the way, then we could have easily spent a morning or an afternoon there.
The only thing I would possibly change is that it was quite a while in to the walk before we found the first picture, so Boo had lost all interest in looking for the pictures by the time we found the first one. I think one earlier on in the trail would be better especially for younger children.
The end of the trail was the best bit, not only did you have to do a bark rubbing – the paper was included in the activity pack. But also there were two Stick Man rubbings to choose from, and they were great! Boo helped with the bark rubbing but the Stick Man rubbings were a bit too high for her to reach.
She didn’t mind too much though as she then discovered this! She was very impressed! It really was something to see. The face on it was just fantastic.
And he wasn’t too far away from his home tree – where lots of children have hung up the stick men they had made whilst they were on the trail. The tree looked better in real life than on this photo, but you can see the stick men hanging there!
An awesome day out, and if you have a Stick Man Trail near you I would definitely recommend it! You can find out more information and other locations on the Forestry Commission website. The activity pack, which again I would recommend but isn’t essential is £3 and parking is £1.50 for an hour and £4 for the day at Cannock Chase. Which I think is really good value for such a fun morning/afternoon or even day out – there is so much to do at Cannock Chase you could easily spend the day, so remember to take a picnic!