Family Hiking Series
March 6, 2013

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Daylight Saving Time than getting outside. This year we set our clocks an hour ahead on Sunday, March 10, giving us an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon.

Families, however, can get an earlier jump start on spring with a new Family Hiking Series sponsored by the Southeastern Mass chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, beginning on March 9.

The four-part series is intended to introduce families to the joys of hiking. Though you don’t need to participate in all four hikes, each hike will get progressively longer and a little more difficult, which should give kids—and adults—a nice sense of accomplishment and pride in their newfound hiking skills. The series is appropriate for children ages 3 and up, but kids under 3 are welcome in child carriers.

When tackling a new adventure with kids, I think it is fun to be part of a group, especially if you’re the parent of an only child, like I am. It gives everyone the chance to make new friends and sometimes kids feel better trying something new with their peers. This series offers the additional opportunity to really bond with your fellow hikers over several trips together.

“It is important for families to find activities they can enjoy together,” says Christine P. Pellegrini, co-leader of the series. “We believe hiking is one of the best activities that can be enjoyed by all family members. Not only is it essentially free but it's get everyone outside exploring and exercising. The hiking series is being offered as a way to get children and parents comfortable hiking together. The first order of business is to make sure families get some basic information about safe hiking.”

Pellegrini adds, “Outdoor experiences can offer families the best rewards. Hopefully children will remember them all of their lives and want to pass them along to the next generation.”

The first hike on March 9 is at Borderland State Park in Easton, a gorgeous property with easy trails. The hike will last about one hour before lunch break and one hour after. On April 13, the second hike is scheduled at F. Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxboro, and increases to two hour-and-a-half-long legs before and after lunch.  The third hike, on May 11, will be at Blue Hills Reservation in Milton and includes some elevation gain as well as an increase in time to a four-hour hike with a lunch break. The fourth hike, on June 22, will be in New Hampshire, with the exact location based on how the group has improved over the previous three hikes. For more information or to register (which is required), visit the AMC Activity Listings page.

Every outdoor activity is better enjoyed when you are prepared properly. Check out some advice on dressing kids appropriately for winter fun on our website. More advice about outdoor safety can also be found here.

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