T has been ready to do some hiking on his own for awhile now, but when we bring the big pack along “just in case”, he tends to ask for a ride after about a quarter mile, and has little interest in walking himself after that. I asked T what he would like to see on his hike and he exclaimed “waterfall!”. Another sunny spot in the forecast was coming up, so I found a kid-friendly hike that we were hoping he could do at least half of himself. It was short and easy enough that we could do shoulder rides if he wasn’t feeling it. The Northwest Timber Trail looked like an appropriate hike, but there weren’t many recent trip reports on it so we went in expecting to be flexible.
If you’ve spent any time looking for more information on hiking with babies and small children, you’ve probably come across an organization called Hike It Baby. Hike It Baby is a non-profit that helps parents and caretakers find like-minded people to do outdoor activities with, along with their children. “Raising a generation to love the outdoors” is one of their mottos and so far, I’ve found the meetups to be friendly and welcoming. I’ve been to a few “coffee strolls”, where we pushed strollers through parks to grab coffee together, a carrier hike where myself and the other moms packed our toddlers and babies out on the trail, and one adults-only outdoor yoga session. Unfortunately, my second pregnancy slowed me way down. I feel like I napped away the entire summer of 2016 (like seriously, I can hardly remember anything about it other than looking at some houses).
So this year, I’m back to participate in the Hike it Baby 30 challenge.
Twin Falls is the type of hike you often see recommended when someone is searching for a kid-friendly trail, or have friends visiting who want to see a bit of Washington outdoors. I kept meaning to check it out when T was a bit younger, but never made it out. I’ve also heard it can be crowded on weekends, which can be less than ideal with a toddler who wants to frequently stop and inspect ferns. When this week’s weather forecast called for sun, the NW finally answered with blue skies. I figured there was no better time to try this hike than an early spring weekday.
It has been a rough winter in the Pacific Northwest. Where we usually get misted with rain for weeks on end, we’ve instead received a regular dusting (or in some cases, dumping) of snow. Unless you have the right gear, getting outdoors with a toddler when it’s cold and wet is sometimes difficult. T has hit the age where he isn’t particularly tolerant of being chilly or uncomfortable. He is also at that inbetween stage of adventuring where he wants to be down on his own two feet a lot, but also wants to be carried sometimes. I spent most of this winter very pregnant, so carrying was out for me. Now that the baby is here and has some weeks of being out in the world under his belt, we are trying to get some hiking in before Justin’s parental leave ends.