The kids and I got invited to go hiking with two other moms and their kiddos last week right before school was set to start. It was listed online as family friendly and toddler friendly. My personal opinion is that while the toddler in our group did AMAZING beyond belief, the trail was rather rough and LONG overall for the average toddler. Even the older kids were stumbling along the way (especially on the way back to the car when they were all pretty pooped out! LOL). It was a FANTASTIC hike; everyone really enjoyed it. Great scenery, fun photo opps, etc. We spent about 4.5 hours on the round-trip from the parking lot to the bridge by the waterfalls, and back again. I would LOVE to do this hike again!! My kids all wore their backpacks with snacks, a water bottle, and a sweatshirt. I had my backpack packed with my own water, extra snacks, bandaids, bug spray, sunscreen... It worked out really well!
There was a place at the head of the trail with a sign that said, "take a walking stick, leave a walking stick", so Jared took a walking stick (he got the only one left!)
The first part of the trail follows alongside the river, and the kids had a great time stopping to look at different viewpoints.
After awhile, the trail turns away from the river and you start really hiking uphill, zigzagging up the pathway. Parts were pretty slippery and narrow! We paused for a little break and the kids all climbed up onto this huge rock
We got lucky being able to get so many good group shots considering the amount of kids and the big age range we were working with!
The drop-off from the trail was quite steep at one point, and this sign was posted
We got to the bridge that crosses over the waterfalls/river, and got to enjoy listening to the sounds of the water, and the view!
We could have continued along the trail, but in the interest of time, and not being sure how much longer the kids could all go (knowing we still had to backtrack to the car!), we opted to turn around and head back at this point.
On the way back down, Connor posed inside the hollow of a rotten stump
Then Emily and Katie stood way up high on a rock
Connor wanted to lay down on his tummy for a picture... How cute is he?
The only real downside I can say, is that there are NO bathrooms along the way, and doing the hike with kids meant we were out there for several hours. Despite being in the woods, the layout of the trail didn't even allow you to just find a bush to squat behind either. We sort of just had to pee fast on the trail a few times and hope no one came around the corner! We won't even get into how it went when one of us had to do more than just pee... I'll just say a quick "thank goodness for ziploc bags and baby wipes!" and leave it at that. haha!
We ended the day with 7 filthy, exhausted children, and couldn't have asked for much better!! It was great being with friends, trying something new, enjoying the views, getting good exercise, etc. This is DEFINATELY on my list of Things To Do Again!