While we adjust to life as a family of 5, a few local bloggers kindly agreed to keep MiniBury readers entertained with tales and adventures from their own lives. Today Julie Barry shares the fifth installment of her series”Little Explorers,” reports on her hiking adventures with her husband and her two and four-year old. Take it away Julie!
Trail: Texas Falls
Distance: 1.2 miles
Level of Difficulty: easy – moderate
Baby Jogger Access: no
Bikes Permitted: no
Of Interest to the Kids: the falls, numerous short bridges over little creeks
How to get there: driving east on 125, go about 3 miles past the Middlebury Snowbowl, turn left on Forest Service road 39, parking will be .5 and .7 miles up the road
More Info: look here.
Our Experience: There were several cars parked by the overlook for the falls so we drove .2 miles further to the picnic area parking. There’s a pavilion with a number of tables under it as well as a nearby grill. If you’re with a smaller group there are several privately sited picnic sites with their own table and grill – all right along Hancock Brook. Gravel trails connect the pavilion, the sites, and the vault toilets. With not a soul around my 2 and 4 year-old had a blast exploring the trails and picnic area on their bikes. The brook itself is beautiful, clear and cool and filled with light-colored rocks (what are they?) that give the river a clean, almost blue appearance. It also offered great opportunities for exploring and rock hopping.
We then hiked the nature loop, starting across the road from the picnic area, continuing to the falls and back around to our starting point. The falls itself was really interesting – rocks scooped and carved by so much water – with good vantage points from a bridge and several fenced overlooks. In many places the trail itself was rugged – lots of roots and rocks, a few large logs across the trail. It was also hillier than I expected: not a docile nature loop. My two year-old rode on my back going up hill but otherwise she trooped along gamely. The loop took us about 1 3/4 hours but we had lots of little breaks to examine bugs, balance on logs and jump off rocks and a long snack stop which involved not only a careful investigation of our trail mix but an actual sorting of it. (And here I’d thought that the beauty of trail mix was all of those yummy things mixed together. Silly me.) I somehow ended up with a number of pictures of the snack stop and not one of the falls. Ah, well.
The kids can’t wait to come back and bring their papa to picnic and explore – so we’ll get a photo of the falls then!