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Posts Tagged ‘hiking with kids’

This weekend we found an awesome, kid friendly and interesting-to-adults trail in Los Trancos Open Preserve: the San Andreas Fault Trail.  The trail was wide enough for a jog stroller but The Monkey walked the whole way, and The Puppy Dog most of the way.

The Monkey running down the trail map in hand

Puppy Dog liked it too

There was lots for the kids to look at — interesting trees and flowers, little rabbits and a family of deer.  There’s also a guided walk with points of geographical interest. The Monkey loved running ahead and finding the numbered posts that marked each landmark and then finding them on the map. It was really neat to see him understand how maps work and how the things represented there relate to the real world.  His parents enjoyed the information on the San Andreas fault–we learnt lots about pressure ridges and sag ponds, and how fault features looked like great building spots to early settlers until they realised what had made them.

An exercise in map reading

It was also a nice trail to use to talk to The Monkey about earthquakes and to help him make sense of the earth quake drills that he’s been having at school in previous weeks.  Broken fences and mis-shaped trees made great visuals to help him understand what an earthquake is.

A fence split asunder by a quake

Looking down the fault--deadly but beautiful

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We love this great little park off Kings Mountain Road in Woodside.  There is a small day use fee ($6), but that seems pretty good value for a family day out.  The trails here are beautiful, shady and well maintained. We usually take the single jog stroller up into the hills there with no trouble.

Plenty of room for strollers

There’s plenty for the kids to look at along the way: the trails are bumpy, there are lots of fallen trees (my three year old loves speculating what happened whenever he sees a fallen tree), spiders, banana slugs and, at this time of year, masses of colourful leaves. 

 
The park also has great amenities and we usually stop for a post hike snack in the picnic area.  I particularly like hanging out by the volleyball pit which serves as a sand play area for my little ones.  There’s also a nice grassy hill next to it which the kids love to run up and down.
 
The Puppy Dog in the sandpit

Both kids got really into hiking at Huddart, and I love that they are spotting things in the natural world for themselves and then asking about them. The Monkey was particularly fascinated by banana slugs this visit, and the Puppy Dog paid close attention to the curly moss growing on the trees along the trail.

 
My little tree hugger

I also love how empty this park is.  Our group were the only people we saw during the visit and the kids could run wild and be noisy without fear of disturbing anyone.

 
 
 

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The view from Borel Hill

Want a hike with great views that the kids can also do? Then this one’s for you. 

We had guests in town and wanted to give them a taste of the local countryside and a sense of the peninsula’s geography, so we headed up to the Russian Ridge Preserve off Skyline Boulevard.  It was wonderfully sunny, the land was that beautiful late summer mix of green and gold, the turkey vultures circled overhead, and we could see for miles across the bay.

We chose a shortish route that was interesting for the adults but allowed the kids plenty of opportunity to get out and walk. From the Vista Point parking area we took the trail up Borel Hill which has the most fabulous views, before heading along the Ancient Oaks Trail for about a mile and then cutting back across the ridge to our starting spot. The entire route was about 2 miles, and a little hilly–perfect for our nearly three year old to walk himself.  We’re a bit worried about the future, however, as he insisted on doing the whole loop with his (pretend) cell phone in hand, just in case one of his friends called.

Wouldn't want to miss a call

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