Chris, the girls and I took Uncle Craig to Devil's Lake State park today for a little hiking.
We ran into a few obstacles that we had not thought about (like very icy spots on the trail and strong winds when we were hiking down by the water) but overall it was a great morning.
The little bit of snow added the fun of looking for tracks, making our own tracks and more.
And me and Avery being silly on the trail!
And some fun ice/water play when we got to the lake at the bottom.
And of course when we got to the boulder fields we had to take some cute photos.
It was a great way to spend our morning and everyone came home completely exhausted!
The Nitty Gritty!
If you are thinking about doing some winter hiking with your little ones, and I would strongly encourage it, there are some things to keep in mind.
First, will the trail be safe. We did have a bit more ice on the trail than I had expected. Sam did fine with it, but we had to adjust our hiking style. Sam was not allowed to run ahead or be as wild and silly on the trail. We had to hold her hand and have her hike next to us more than we normally would. If you are unsure what the trail conditions are I would suggest calling ahead (if there is an information center or nature center available) and asking about ice or snow on the trail.
Second, dress your little ones in more layers than you think they need. Just like any winter outdoor play your kiddos will have a much better time and last longer if they don't notice the cold at all. But keep in mind their ability to navigate the trail as well. Even though snow pants might be the best way to keep them warm, those big puffy pants will make it very tough to walk up hills, over rocks or other rough terrain. Try using tights or leggings combined with fleece/flannel lined pants as a way to give them the warmth they need but also a bit more flexibility.
Third, bring extras! We started Sam out in her tennis shoes today but I had her snow boots packed in our backpack so that when her shoes got wet from the snow we would have a back-up to keep her comfortable and not end the hike. Extra clothes are important too. You never know when falls in the snow may happen and with no snowpants on clothes may get wet, having extras to change into may save the day!
Any other winter hiking tips or tricks?