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 first 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!
We’ve recently moved from Alaska to Vermont and after having skied and skied all winter long we can’t wait to explore the now snow-free woods. In the “Little Explorers” series, I’ll share our family’s hiking experiences in case there are other families looking for trails to try. Since we are new to the area, there’s much I don’t know about a trail after only one or two hikes on it, so please share what you know and pass along suggestions for hikes, walks, bikes, and camping or backpacking trips!
Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
Level of Difficulty: easy
Baby Jogger Access: Only on the first loop, perhaps 1/4 mile
Bikes Permitted: Nope
Of Interest to the Kids: boardwalk, bridges over the South Branch of the Middlebury River as well as smaller brooks, sandy former oxbow bend for playing, blueberry bushes
How to get there: From Middlebury drive east on 125. The trailhead is 2 miles past Ripton and on your right.
More Info: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/greenmountain/null/recarea/?recid=64941&actid=50
Also: 1. pit toilet at trailhead 2. This trail has an access point for the Water Tower trails, which are now on my list…
Our Experience: What a trail for a two and four year-old! Even in early spring with nothing growing but (what I know as) skunk cabbage, it provided endless entertainment. My kids and I happily spent 1 1/2 hours along it. The trail is basically a figure 8 with the first loop being 1/4 mile and handicapped accessible. The second loop is a single-track trail that winds over a creek and back, up a small hill, and through a blueberry meadow before following the South Branch back. Water, and the opportunity for tossing twigs in and searching for favorite rocks, is plentiful along the trail. Some trees and plants along the way are marked and there are Frost’s poems regularly posted along the trail – some much-loved and a new favorite for me. Even at their young ages my kids delighted in the wooden signs along the way, looking for the letters in their names or calling out “Does it tell about a tree or is it another poem, Mama? Read it!” We’ll definitely be back – especially during blueberry season.