While we haven’t done as much hiking this year as last, the good news is Scott’s daughter is now at an age (almost six) where she, and hence her mother, can join us on some of our adventures.
The trick is not the elevation, as kids like to climb things, but rather the length of the excursion. So it was that the first hike of the year saw us revisiting Pawtuckaway’s South Mountain, just via a different, steeper yet shorter (0.4 miles), back route known as Tower Trail.
Getting to the trailhead was an adventure in itself as we wound our way along a seemingly never-ending, very bumpy/rutted dirt road. At one point — which turned out to be a bit scary for the little one — we were practically driving thru a beaver-dammed marsh as the water came right up to the edge of the road on either side. Unfortunately, I have no pictures from this part of the trip, but here’s a sampling of the hike itself.
beautiful deep woods
Scott trailblazing the rocky slope
the firetower at the summit
one of the views from the tower
For the summer’s second hike, along the Boulder Field Trail, also at Pawtuckaway State Park, we stayed on more level ground and extended the time. We ended up walking out for about 45 minutes to an hour and then back the same way. The calculations were almost spot on as only the last five to ten minutes were tiring for the young’un.
after some time, you come upon a stunning body of water
complete with islands and kayakers
geese along the marshy edge
(word is great blue herons live here too)
my favorite pic (a cropped version is now my Facebook cover image)
The last picture is of one of the “glacial erratics… deposited when glacial ice melted near the end of the Ice Age.” If you look closely, you’ll see a climber about a third of the way up. The trail splits before this formation giving you the option to walk along the top. We vowed to go that way when we next make this trek.
Scott’s daughter had a blast both times and is excited to get in more hikes. Alas, the next one we have planned is Mount Sunapee with the guys, rather a more ambitious undertaking, but there will be more kid-friendly hiking in the future. If you’re looking to introduce your children to the joys of nature, the two here are a great place to start.