Mercer Slough | Credit: Devon Hammer
A breath of fresh air — and some space
Hiking with my kids has been essential to our family sanity even before quarantine. I find solace in nature and enjoy a good dose of it whenever I’m in need of a recharge. I also have an active 5-year-old boy who quite literally bounces off the walls when we're stuck at home. Hiking fulfills my son’s need for adventure and physical activity while fulfilling my need for exercise and a breath of fresh air. My 3-year-old daughter is happy enough to come along for the ride (literally, on my back, in a carrier) as long as I keep the snacks coming. So, since my son was about 2, we have hiked at least a couple of times a week.
Then the pandemic hit. Fast forward a couple of horrifically long months stuck at home and hiking trails and parks have now reopened. I was very excited but not without a little anxiety. How do we hike safely and responsibly during a pandemic? I wanted to find less popular, kid-friendly trails that are wide enough to easily accommodate social distancing.
Read on for the five trails that we've enjoyed hiking this past month or so. I can't promise the trails will be crowd-free if you go, and you need to wear your masks when you encounter others on the trail and follow safety practices for recreating outdoors. And, as always, use your own best judgment for your family.
Use the arrows above the image to get hiking!
Editor's note: This article mentions playgrounds, restrooms and other facilities that may remain closed.