Yesterday kicked off the winter hiking series at our local Columbus Metro Parks. I have said it before but it is always worth repeating… the Columbus Metro Parks are pure awesomeness. All year long they arrange fun stuff for families and it is usually free.
Where I was raised a patch of green grass with a baseball diamond and a swing set was called a park. Here the parks are full of wild, forested land and swamps, ponds, or rivers with trails winding through. Each park is diverse and unique and it is so fun to explore them all. Our very first hiking experience in Ohio was organized via the park system and the winter hiking series. We have been hooked ever since. Our house is sandwiched between the larger Blacklick Woods (where we went yesterday) and a quarry park. This was not accidental.
Yesterday we set out and let my youngest choose what trail to follow… red or blue. He chose blue, the 4 mile trail versus the 2 mile.
It was in the 40s so not too cold, although too cold for what my husband dressed in… shorts and t-shirt. The trails were also super muddy because the snow that covered the ground all week finally melted. We were all pretty dirty by the time the hike was done.
Afterwards there was free hot cocoa and Snowville Creamery Chocolate Milk (a local dairy). There was also a fire and marshmallows. Had to pull up a hay bale and enjoy that too.
There was a more substantial vegetarian minestrone soup but we passed on that. In previous years it was so hot the kids couldn’t eat for about 20 minutes and this little pit stop wasn’t the end of the hike… still more to go. Mom and dad didn’t eat any because it had pasta/wheat in it. I did have a toasted marshmallow though and I snuck some sips of hot cocoa. Those kind of foods have gone extinct in our house but what can do when you happen across them in the wild?
Good exercise, good fun, and my fave people on the planet. Can’t wait for hike #2 at Sharon Woods!
Sunday, January 8th, 2012