Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Autumn marks perfect time to go day hiking with children

Though summer has passed, that’s no reason to put the hiking boots at the back of the closet until next May. Autumn actually is a great time to hit the trail with kids.

Why? Because there are:
g Cool, dry days – As winter approaches, summer’s heat and humidity dissipates. Late morning through the early afternoon, however, still can see warm, comfortable temperatures that might require a sweatshirt and jeans rather than T-shirt and shorts.
g Fewer bugs – Cool, dry days means few mosquitoes and virtually no other creepy crawlies, as they prefer standing water and warm air. Most insects’ life cycles have reached their end in September.
g Colorful leaves – Perhaps the best reason to hike in autumn is the changing fall foliage. The world appears to have been repainted, as red, gold and sienna orange leaves contrast with the blue sky.
g Better visibility – As those changing leaves fall to the ground, the landscape opens up, allowing you to spot interesting geological features or terrain that summer’s thick foliage keeps hidden.
g More animal sightings – Birds migrate while mammals gorge in preparation for winter’s cold. As the foliage no longer is as thick, seeing them is easier.
g Fewer crowds – Kids are back to school, guys are watching football, and whoever else is left wrongly thinks last night’s frost means the whole day will be cold. That makes for a quiet, peaceful trek on almost any given autumn day.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.