8/30/2016

Cache Valley Guide: trails with the littles










There are many reasons that we spend so much time in the mountains. Of course there is the peace and solitude we find there. But with little kids, there is an element of adventure and nature that is native to their little souls and it is so needed for them to be out there. The mountains are absolutely my favorite place to be with my family. Rockie often doesn't need her leash, we can wander slowly and explore new places, the boys can get dirty and we don't have many cares.

In the Summertime we get out first thing before the heat of the day hits full force, while in the other three seasons we like the later morning and early afternoon. We always fill a backpack with water bottles and juice boxes and snacks, sometimes a blanket to sit on and extra jackets, always a bag of chewy candy or licorice.

We have a lot of different favorite spots that we go to, depending on our moods and whatnot, so I thought I would share just a few of our favorites with you locals!

Our most visited is definitely the Stokes Nature Trail. (Which is where we were in the pictures above.) (This is especially perfect for little mountain bikers like Jace. It is his favorite biking trail and along with walks we love family bike rides here.) The nature trail is so versatile in how far you can go and where you can go ultimately. You can follow it straight and all the way up the mountain, or you can turn off on numerous bridges along the way and find other paths. On Sunday mornings, especially in the Spring when we are oh-so-antsy for the trails, we like to hike in our camp chairs and breakfast and set up shop at one of the river banks we pass.

Riverside Nature Trail. We access this trail by parking at Spring Hollow Campground and then crossing the river to the left of the parking lot. You'll pass some camp sites and you'll see a sign up on your left for the Riverside Nature Trail. This one is a thinner dirt trail following alongside the river and it is just lovely. (Bring the bug spray!)

Highline trail. We have been hiking this one for a few years now. We used to just call it the "old canal trail", but just this year they finally opened it up officially as the Highline trail. We park at First Dam and take the switchbacks up the mountain, where at the top we turn right and then just follow the trail. The switchbacks are the hardest part for the kids, but the rest of it is straight and easy peezy! (I lost one of the boys very favorite beanies here last Fall. So if ever you see a red and gray stripped san fran 49ers beanie, snag that baby for me! I have a feeling it is long gone by now.)

Tony Grove Nature Trail. Because this one is so far up the canyon, we like to plan an entire day around it. But the hike around the lake is beautiful and perfect for kids! It typically takes us about forty-five minutes to drive there, and you do have to pay a $7 day fee at the parking lot. (This is also perfect for kayaks.)

Green Canyon. (This is another great kids biking trail as well.) You can park at the nature park and walk from there, but we like to drive up the canyon a bit and park by the restrooms, that's where the trail gets good! You can even drive farther and park at the gate, where you can hike a short ways and find some caves to explore. The boys love those caves.

Hyrum City Park. This isn't a trail, but I had to add it here because it is the coolest remote park in town. It is perfect for exploring and playing without the crowds! Being so far up the canyon is also a plus in the heat of the summer, as it is a little cooler there. Drive about nine miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon and you'll find the park on your right! (The biggest downfall is they don't allow dogs. Boo.)

Logan river walk. This is one of our favorite walks in town. It isn't up a canyon so it is generally more crowded, but it is lovely. You can follow the path from one end to the other, walking along the river and over bridges and beneath tall trees. You can also explore and find some short trails on the south side of the bridges next to the dog park.


Harder trails with kids:

The Windcaves. This one is a classic, I'm pretty sure most everyone in the Valley has done it before. We usually still end up carrying Jace at some point while on the windcaves trail though, it is a good hike on those little legs!

Deep Canyon. This is our favorite Fall time hike. It is beautiful. In Autumn, when the leaves have all changed, Deep Canyon reminds me of the fire swamp in the princess bride. This is pretty strenuous for the kids so we go as far as we can and then turn back around, but the higher you can go the better the views!

Providence Canyon. This is Rockie and my all time favorite running trail. With the kids, it is slow going and hilly so we don't make it too far. But if your kids like a challenge it is worth it! You park at the base of the canyon and then walk just a ways while watching for the single track trail on the right hand side, a small bridge crossing the river in between two big trees. If you don't pay close attention you will miss it!


So there you go, just a few of our most trodden paths in the Valley with our little people. We really do love where we live, here in this busy college town just beneath the mountains with such easy access to all of these beautiful places!

Get out there and get you some you guys!


xoxo

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