Whether you're a lifelong hiker or a new hiker, getting young children out on the trail certainly levels the playing field.

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Whether you’re a lifelong hiker or a new hiker, getting young children out on the trail certainly levels the playing field.

When my son was born six years ago, I thought I knew what I was doing. Wrong! On his first hike, he got chilled by the mist of Bridal Veil Falls. On his second hike, he started overheating on his way up Thunder Knob. And that was when he was in the backpack. Soon he wanted to walk, not ride. I recall several lunches (and turn-arounds) in the most un-scenic of places. At two, he didn’t care about the destination like I did. He’d just be done, and we’d better be close to the car or we’d pay for it.

But my husband and I kept at it. And we learned from our mistakes. Short hikes. Interesting stuff along the way. Enticing food to encourage walking. Letting go of our adult expectations…

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