Craving the outdoors? Need a little exercise? I’ve got just the place for you!
Madison County Nature Trail is one of our local treasures. This hiking trail offers everything a family with kids might be looking for in a beginner level hike. Let me caveat this, my family likes to brave it and we consider ourselves pretty experienced, so take note before you head out:
- I always endorse pants, good hiking shoes, plenty of water, a small first aid kit, a charged cell phone, and any other items your family may need.
- Be weather aware! It’s crazy hot outside so make sure you stay hydrated and try to complete hikes at non-peak heat times (typically morning and early evening).
- Stay on marked trails (unless you REALLY know what you are doing).
- Be realistic about your childrens’ abilities when hiking. Start small!
- Don’t hike alone. Ever.
Now, I admit we have several trails in the area we like to hike. This trail is a short (1.5 miles) hike with lots of things to visit along the way. It does offer a light to moderate workout with lots of undualtions in the path. I don’t recommend a stroller unless it is a heavy duty jogger. Also, I don’t think a 3 or 4 year old will hang for the entire trail. DON’T LET THIS STOP YOU FROM VISTING!
Parent Tip: If you have a little one who might not be able to make it through, start your hike to the left and follow the gravel road around to the bridge.
When you enter the trail, stay to the right. There is a lovely picnic area and a porch with rockers. I love the fact that this place has clean restrooms. I know…potentially irrelevant, but it’s the little things. You’ll see a lovely lake. Youngsters and seniors can fish through the week. The hiking trail circles the lake. If you have a little one who might not be able to make it through, start your hike to the left and follow the gravel road around to the bridge. Just up past the bridge is the old log cabin. There are some tricky steps, but the little ones will love this blast from the past.
If you can handle the whole trail, start off to the right, pass the lake piers and head up to the chapel! If you like to climb, there is one small rock area on the trail, but this is not a climber’s paradise. This is an easy trail to tickle the family’s hiking interest and to start off your season of exploring.
For more information about this trail visit the website here. Looking for even more great hiking adventures? Check out Monte Sano Mountain, Land Trust, Rainbow Mountain, and, if you are in an older area of town, check your local neighborhood parks (ever hike up behind Shelton park? There is a large greenspace perfect for a party!) You never know what surprises are awaiting.
Fishing is an option
Picnic area and porch with rockers!
Perfect beginner hike
Stroller is not an option with this hike
Not much opportunity for climbing
Christa Landingham and her husband are Madison County natives and life-long residents. They have boy/girl twins and two crazy puppers. She loves all things teaching, organizing, and supporting local small businesses. In her “free-time” she loves to garden, travel with her family, volunteer, and comb local thrift stores. Pearl Jam is her jam.