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    Hiking With Children





    We went hiking this weekend for Mother’s Day. It was the first real, long hike we’ve taken A.C. (after children); and Adam and I used to hike and backpack quite a bit B.C. (before children). We were super-excited, and at the same time, not quite sure how it would play out. Truth be told, it ended up as the perfect trip; I couldn’t have planned a better Mother’s Day if I’d tried. The children had a blast - they are naturals in the outdoors! And Adam and I rekindled our love of hiking. Can't wait to plan the next trip - even thinking of trying a backpacking/camping hike next time!

    The hike we chose this past weekend was in the Delaware Water Gap national recreation area in Northern New Jersey/Pennsylvania. It’s positively beautiful in that area (yes, New Jersey!) – breathtaking views, fresh air, even wild blueberries (though of course not yet in season). The weather on Sunday was nearly perfect – mid-60’s in the sun. It was delightfully cool for hiking with a pack (or child) on your back, though a bit chilly for the children, who didn’t have packs, so it kept us all moving. The coolness and breeze also kept the bugs at bay, which was a blessing.

    We hiked a circuit trail up/down Mt. Tammany. The whole hike was approximately 2.5mi, with an elevation gain of 1,200ft – I’d call it a moderate hike in difficulty. It had varied terrain – a bit flat, most rocky, some small boulders, some gravel. It’s a very clearly marked (blazed) trail, and well maintained. Perhaps best of all, the trail was sparsely populated, even for a holiday weekend, which allowed us the freedom to move at our own pace – taking in the sights and sounds of nature, relatively uninterrupted.

    We chose to hike the trail in “reverse” – starting at the Appalachian Trail which is a bit less steep at the beginning, crossing the cascading Dunfield Brook, transferring to the “blue dot” trail, and descending on the “red dot” trail. All told, with several brief rests on the ascent, a half hour stop at the top for lunch, a short tantrum, and a sleeping toddler strapped to my back for the descent, it took us a bit less than four hours. With a 2 year old and 5 year old, on moderately difficult terrain, I call that a huge success.

    For more information on the Mount Tammany hike, here are a few good links:

    http://delawarewatergap.org/MountTammany.aspx

    http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGN141-001

    http://www.purdes.com/njhiking/tammany/index.html

     

    Along the way, we enjoyed beautiful overlooks, streams, birds, new spring growth, and the peace and inner focus that I’ve only ever found with exertive backwoods hiking. We even picked up few cans left behind by less-than-conscientious previous hikers (pack it in, pack it out, folks!).

    I rediscovered my love of hiking on this trip. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it just as much as I remembered it B.C., and perhaps even more as viewed within the new, innocent perspective of my children – who just happen to be natural hikers and gentle embracers of the beauty of nature. What a blessing to realize that we could share something we enjoyed so much, with our kids – and find that they really enjoy it too. We're really looking forward to our next trip!

    We managed to capture some of the sights along the way with our iPhones (the joys of modern technology). Enjoy!

    Posted: May 12 2010, 00:29 by kelly | Comments (7) RSS comment feed |
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    Filed under: Children | Family Time | Outdoors | Travel

    Comments

    topsy.com said:

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    # May 12 2010, 00:38

    Mamdy United States said:

    Mamdy12000ft?!?! Wow you guys are really SERIOUS about hiking!!! :p

    # May 12 2010, 09:14

    kelly United States said:

    kellyWhoops! Make that 12 HUNDRED feet.  ;)

    # May 12 2010, 09:17

    Betsy Canada said:

    BetsyYeah, hiking with kids is great. Especially if you have some way to hoof 'em when they refuse to move another inch. I must confess, I usually have to bribe mine with treats to finish and they almost always have at least one meltdown where they tell me how much they hate hiking.

    We recently took our kids to a national park in the Rockies and it was awesome because we did all the short, cheesy hikes that all the tourists do because they are so accessible and awesome -- without kids, we'd look for something more gruelling and unpopular. But the really famous hikes, like Maligne Canyon, are famous because they are sublime!

    # November 09 2010, 23:09

    KellyNaturally.com said:

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    # January 07 2011, 08:40

    naturalparentsnetwork.com said:

    pingbackPingback from naturalparentsnetwork.com

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    # February 03 2013, 12:25

    KellyNaturally.com said:

    trackbackNeighborhood Nature

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