The holidays help us be present in thought about what we are most grateful for in our lives and in the year’s experiences. When you think back on the year, was the outdoors a part of those memories? The DC region has many rich opportunities to be active with our kids in the outdoors. I shared many great outdoor experiences with my students and family during 2013. Here are my ultimate five:
1. Backpacking the Appalachian Trail. During Memorial Day weekend, my daughter and I backpacked the 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. The Appalachian Trail offers shelters almost every ten miles along its 2,180 mile distance from Georgia to Maine.
2. Renting a Potomac Appalachian Trail Club cabin. During spring break, my family rented a great cabin tucked on a mountainside in Pennsylvania where we played in the snow, hiked the Tuscarora Trail and listened to the silence of the forest blanketed by snow.
3. White water rafting on the Potomac River. To end our Siena School year, students and teachers hired Calleva to guide us on a rafting trip through the Mather Gorge. After a rainy week, we put our rafts in just below Great Falls in a frothy, churning milk chocolate-colored Potomac. The swollen river turned the class II and III rapids into III’s and IV’s. It was spectacular experiencing the river from it instead of being above on the trails.
4. Discovering new trails with my kids. The year has been all about hiking with my family to write Best Hikes with Kids: Washington DC (due Summer 2014). Our favorite new trail is the Ford Mine Trail in the C&O Canal National Historic Park.
5. Camping at Patuxent River Park. Each year, four families gather at a beautiful campsite on the Patuxent River to kayak, canoe and hike among the wetlands.
In the comments below, share your family’s most memorable DC, outdoor adventure during 2013.
Happy 2014 full of great outdoor adventures!
By Jennifer Chambers – owner of Hiking Along, a science teacher, environmental educator.
See Related Post by Jennifer – Top 5 Fall Hikes for Kids