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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 young.

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 fall.

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:


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