Our kids are finally of hiking age. I define that as can walk a long-ish distance without much complaining. Liam does very very well. Keeps up, is excited, etc. Payten still needs help and it’s usually when going uphill. Her little 2.5 year old legs still get tired. I have found that when hiking with Payten, if I hold her hand, she does a better job of keeping up. So when the weather this past weekend was 45 and windy (still pretty chilly), we ventured out to Sugarcreek MetroPark for a Sunday family stroll. Andy and I have been to this park before kids so it was nice that we were finally able to return around 4 years later. There were so many parks in Cincinnati that we frequently visited with the kids, Sharon Woods being the closest and most popular, so it was nice to start this park tradition up in our new Dayton location. That brings me to another note, winter hiking…it’s a must try. It definitely is cold and you must make sure your little’s are bundled up but the crisp fresh air feels so good. We spend a lot of time indoors during winter so to get some fresh air in the middle of winter is the best thing for your soul. Trust me. Just try it once and you’ll thank me.
The Sugarcreek MetroPark is great for kids. The paths are fairly wide and very clearly laid out. There are places to take breaks and throw rocks into the river and also places to gear off track and just play in the fields. This park is so unique because it has 550 year old oak trees (along the orange path), it’s famous for it’s osage orange tunnel (again orange path), and has a planted prairie. Sugar Creek runs through this park so there are many peaceful and serene stops along the hike. On the outskirts of this park there is even a bridle trail for horseback riding and it’s not uncommon to see lots of horses in the warmer weathers.
Another reason I love taking the kids hiking in all weathers is because they turn into little scientists along the way. Bird feathers, rocks, sticks, bark, moss on trees, etc. You find different treasures with each season and it opens up conversation and dialogue with them and their curious minds.
Where are your favorite places to hike? Have you ever been to Sugarcreek MetroPark? Did you love it as much as us? Please let me know all your secret parks and tips for hiking with kids.