Hiking Season Offers Many Pleasures
By Mary Emma Allen
|Pinellas County, Florida maintains
Pinellas Trail for hikers and bicyclers which winds through small
towns and wilderness. Photo credit Kathleen Walls
Hikes through the woodlands add
pleasure to country living or visiting. Now's the time to get prepared for
those treks into the solitude of a forest world. Our family has always
enjoyed hiking, whether in the woods around our home, longer hikes through
New Hampshire's White Mountains where we live, or treks in the Rockies of
the West where we often visit.
We also often walk along the roads near home,
sometimes downtown on errands and other times just to get some
exercise and fresh air.
Glimpse Nature's Marvels
"Come, Nanny, let's take a walk, " the
grandchildren call, just as my daughter did a few years ago.
So we're off to explore the wonders of the woodland
around our home. In addition to this being good exercise, hiking
enables you to glimpse some of the marvels of nature and to relax away
from the demands of civilization.
Beaver's ponds and bogs fascinate "children" of all
ages. It always amazes us to see how these industrious animals build
dams which create good-sized ponds.
In a large area around the pond one finds stumps of
various sizes where the beavers have gnawed down trees. Their house,
sticking up above the water level, is constructed of sticks and brush
they've hauled from around the pond. There they live and raise their
Fishing, Frogs and Salamanders
Once we discovered a boggy area where the beaver
had build a series of three dams, creating three small ponds. Trout
had found these watery homes and jumped at the flies my daughter and
her dad flung their way on a fishing line.
Children often search for frogs and salamanders,
toads and tadpoles on these treks into the out-of-doors. Discovering
these wonders brings nature's marvels into their world.
Many Places to Hike
There often are so many areas just within one's
home, if you live in the country or small town, where you can hike and
explore. Look for these, too, when you travel.
Some towns have maintained trails for hiking and
bicycling. In other areas, you'll find mountains you can trek to the
top. With hills to climb, brooks to fish, wild flowers to see, and
swamps to explore, you usually can enjoy hiking throughout summer and
No matter where you live or travel, check out the
interesting places where you and your children can enjoy hiking and
exploring the out-of-doors.
(c)Mary Emma Allen
(Mary Emma Allen, columnist, journalist, children's writer and book
author, writes about many topics for newspapers and magazines, both
online and in print. She also teaches writing workshops for children
and adults. E-mail: email@example.com)