Make hiking with kids fun for the whole family. Have an adventure hiking together no matter what the kids age. Many people say that kids should not hike till 10 years of age or older but I say Bah Humbug. Take short hikes and pick terrain that is easy for everyone, kids will do fine and love it. We have been hiking for years as a family and over the years our hikes have gotten longer and harder.
My suggestion is that everyone have their own water bottle, back pack full extra snacks and water. Start on short hikes no more than half mile to mile and make sure the terrain is level. Small children, set rules before you begin, like running ahead but stop every 15 steps and look back to make sure you can see me. Explain, being to far ahead makes me nervous so just wait till I catch up. If you can’t follow the rules then you have to hold my hand. We make our hikes fun by picking out neat trees, identifying them, identifying plants, looking for animal tracks, and taking pictures.
Cooks State Park
Cooks State Park is huge and you could get lost fast if you don’t stay on the right path. We started our hike, Black Bear Trail, at the Art Center, checking out the local artist work. On our hike we found fairy trees, potential homes for small animals, and trees that bears used to mark their territory. We practiced following the blaze, white square painted on trees and got lost because we didn’t pay attention.
Our surprise at the end hike were 15 different types of shelters. We think they might be used by the boy-scouts during the winter or fall months. The kids got to explore inside each structure, we discussed the build plans, and finally which one we liked the best. You never know what you might find at the end of a hike.
Tionesta Rec. Area Campground, PA is a great place to hike and camp. We enjoyed the large campsite and full hook up sites. The girls loved playing in the river, catching salamanders and craw dads. As a family we went on several different hikes through the lush forest.