Inspired by Simply Authentic, Adventure in Progress, and Unplugged Sunday, we decided to go for a family hike on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day, 70's and sunny. We wanted to stay local though, especially with a 3 year old and an 11 month old. And I know nothing of local hiking. If I am going hiking in Maine, I go west to the mountains, north, or to the coast...not really in my central location. However, I found a great place called the Kennebec Highlands with a nice little hike for families called the French Mountain Trail. It said it was .4 miles each way, and I thought, worst case, I could just pick up Emma and carry her if it was less than a mile total.
So we drove on out there for our hike. I made PB&J and had trail mix and water. I thought we were set. Of course, we cancelled our cell phones a few weeks ago, and you get to depending on that 3G internet coverage when you are out and about. I had looked at the map before we left and knew the general area where we were going, so I wasn't really that concerned about printing out maps of the trails etc etc.
We get to the Kennebec Highlands and look at the map at the start of the trail, and we are at the Kennebec Highlands Sanders Hill Trail. Of course I couldn't really remember what the name of the short hike was, but it looked like the only trail in the general vicinity of where I knew we were planning on going. Matt looked at the map and kind of measured it with his pinky finger saying he thought it was closer to three miles in...and I of course said, nah, it can't be that far. So we started on our little hike (that was supposed to be relatively flat and easy to walk with kids). We just keep walking, catching Emma as she is climbing over the mossy rocks and sliding down, or jumping over little streams in the trail. After about 2 hours I said that I think we ought to turn back because I wasn't sure how much further this "loop" was going to go. So we back tracked, me carrying Emma most of the way. Remarkably we got out in about 30 minutes with me carrying her and Matt having Jack in the ergo.
We had a great time on that little hike, and Emma wanted to go back yesterday to do it again. I never expected to take her on an actual hike, but we did, and it worked. We didn't get to the summit, we turned back too soon, but we were able to have a nice little picnic near the water
And as we were driving down the road leaving our wonderful first family hike, what did we see about 100 yards down the road? Well, the start of the French Mountain Trail of course! Unfortunately, it was on the opposite side of the road...the side my husband was supposed to be watching...maybe next time we will try the shorter trail, although I think that Emma might think the lack of rock jumping won't be as fun :-)