Here's the thing, I find parenting easier when I'm in the woods, so that's typically where you will find the boys and I during the summer.
My plan is to share with you the majority of the trails we visit this year so you also can branch out to some new places with your littles.
Anxiety, arguments, restlessness/boredom seem to calm down as we get out in nature.
I'm not sure if it's the fields of wild flowers, mud puddles, rocks to throw in rivers or endless piles of pine branches to make forts out of, but the behavioral challenges we face at home seem to lessen to a degree when we step outside.
Aside from that, as a functional exercise specialist, I want my kiddos to challenge their bodies in a variety of different ways, of which nature provides a perfect setting to do so.
Hanging from or climbing trees, balancing on logs, throwing giant rocks over their shoulders, climbing uneven terrain of fallen pine trees...
To keep a body functioning optimally, you can't just walk on sidewalks and hop on a bike occasionally. You need to be challenging the body through a wide variety of planes and movements...so there's nothing that makes my wellness mama heart happier than today's adventure.
This trail is longer, so we only did a couple of miles, but here is why I love it for small kids (and it's great for adult hikes too!):
+ lots of big rocks to climb (this is a must to keep my kiddos happy)
+ almost entirely shaded (ain't nobody going to be baking in high altitude sun for hours)
+ tons of sticks (if you have pine trees, you have sticks...which is why we always head for the pine)
+ no mountain bikers (toddlers on trails with mountains bikers gives me anxiety....just say no)
+ dogs on leash (we can bring our dog regardless because he's a service dog but I'm sure you want to bring your furry friends too!)
+ only 30 minutes from Denver (unless you drive back after 12 pm, then it will take you an hour+ with traffic...because rush hour basically starts anytime in the Mile High)
+ a small stream that has lots of mud for great sensory play (they were waterproof hiking books for this reason--the large river is a bit too far for my boys to hike to yet)
+ there's a bison overlook right before you get to the parking lots--extra bonus!
What we brought for lunch (we had pancakes + eggs for breakfast so we packed lighter than normal for lunch):
+ apples & oranges
+ cheese sticks
+ paleo granola bar
+ 2.5 liters of water
+ brimmed hats (we don't wear sunscreen unless we are in direct sunlight for more than 15-20 minutes
+ camelbak (with a water vessel)
+ good hiking boots (very necessary to keep toddlers safe when climbing on rocks)
+ first aid kit
+ dog water bowl
+ books & journal (Luke likes to draw things he sees on the trail and I like to read when they settle into an activity that requires less of my attention)
P.S...Wanting to get more connected with my adventurous wellness community? Check out our free facebook page, Summit Fit Power Tribe to get recipes, workouts and local event details!
P.P.S...I put together my top 12 client recipes in one document for you. Grab those here!