Last night, Marc and I were thinking about where we’d go for our second family hike. I specified three non-negotiable on the Lancaster Conservancy website:
- Scenic overlook
- ADA accessible (This was for two reasons. First, my in-laws are in town and one of them had a hip replacement late last year. Second, we were going to bring a stroller for Ari in case he got tired/whiny, like he did last week.)
One of three options was Welsh Mountain Nature Preserve, which was listed as about 35 minutes from our house. Why not?!!?
Isabelle and I were the first ones out of the minivan. When she arrived at the trail head, she opened the box and said, “It’s empty. There aren’t any more maps left.”
I groaned, audibly. I had lectured her about the importance of always having a map last week since she lost her grasp on it last week and it blew away. Now, we had nothing.
“There’s another big board on the other side of the parking lot,” she said taking off in that direction. “Let’s see if there are more maps there.”
I followed, Unfortunately, there weren’t.
Ultimately, all of the adults took a photo of the trails map with each of our phones. Not the same, but it would have to do.
Marc loaded Ari into the stroller, which hadn’t been used in about a year. My in-laws joined us at the large map. Despite the gravel-covered ADA trail being to our right, Marc thought we should try the blue trail, to our left. It was a true trail. My foot, thankfully, could handle it, but I wasn’t so sure a third of our group (of six) could hack it. But they insisted so we went on the blue trail.
After a few minutes, Isabelle and I — who were quite a bit ahead of everyone else — discovered the trail getting tighter, rockier, and steeper. I called out to the others to implore them to turn around, but they kept moving forward. As they neared, I insisted that the stroller wouldn’t make it up the hill any better than a person with a four-month-old titanium hip.
“I picked this place because there’s an ADA accessible trail,” I said with a level of snippiness in my voice. “That’s the trail we need to take.”
We turned around and walked back to the flat trail. We splintered into two separate groups. Eventually, my father-in-law went back to the car. Isabelle, my mother-in-law, and I eventually found Ari jogging towards us with Marc pushing the empty stroller. As pleased as I was to see him walking, I noticed he had a granola bar in his hand. Apparently, food was a motivator to keep him moving!
Next hike, we have to keep Ari moving, sans snacks, on level ground. 🤣🙄🤪
15 thoughts on “Let me tell you about hike #2… #SOL21”
Oh – family hikes. I am happy to report that they get less complicated as the kids get older, but finding the right trail for a group is still, ahem, complex. Still, it’s great that you got out!
Back in 1990, I climbed Mt. Washington, which is the highest peak in the Northeastern USA. Prior to that overnight climb, we had to do lead-up hikes to get us ready.
So, taking a cue from that, I think Ari will need a lot of lead-up hikes before we hit some of America’s national parks! (Planning for Great Smoky Mountain National Park in the summer of 2022.)
My own children learned to hike on a section of the Appalachian trail that was accessible from our home at the time.I will admit that I did make some version of trail mix with lots of Cheerios and raisins that I brought to keep them moving!
I am not sure about your area, but the old restored rail trails in the Hudson Valley area of NYS are an incredible way to hike/explore on flat(ter)trails that are often paved or covered in “road wash.”
I think we were closer to the Appalachian Trail when we lived in Harrisburg. I will have to investigate!
We do have several rail trails so we will start with those!
It looks like a beautiful place for a hike! It feels good to get outside and even better if you are exploring a new place. That’s why we drive an hour to Longwood Gardens – many options. We have never been to Welsh Mountain Preserves. We could make the trip. Maybe in late spring/early summer we can meet you there or in the gardens. Thanks for including the photos!
I don’t know that it’s worth the drive to Welsh Mountain from where you are. I’ll let you know what else we find!
Kudos for getting out there with kids (both young ones and ‘old ones’)! It’s a nice slice and put me right there on the trail with you.
I’m always reminded of our 9-year old neice’s comment on hiking: “hiking is fun, but I think it’s really just walking with a special name”. 🙂
Oh, how right you’re niece is!
I love family hikes! I had to really adjust my thinking about hiking because sometimes the family hikes with little ones turn into what I would have previously called a short walk in the woods. (Funny you mentioned Mt. Washington. I grew up near there and hiked it several times many years ago.) I do strongly believe it’s worth all the effort of bringing them when they’re little because it will pay off when they’re a little older.
I downloaded the TrailLink app this evening with the hope of doing more trails with the kids and my husband in the weeks ahead.
Sounds like you had a good time overall, despite a few setbacks!
I love hikes. My children always look forward to the snack when we get to the mid-way point. It always takes us much longer to get back than it did to get here. I think I’m going to try to drag them out for a hike today. Will you camp at the National Park? That sounds like a lot of fun!
We are planning to rent a house in GSMNP. We were supposed to go last summer. We postponed it to this summer, but we are waiting until the kids are vaccinated to go with our cousins. Hopefully next summer (aka the third time) will be the charm.
Ah, family hiking! So many needs. Your great title took me right back to my days of loading our home-made trail mix with chocolate M&M’s, and using it as a lure… “we’ll have our snack when we get _____________”!
I must introduce my kids to gorp. Thanks for the reminder!