The Cowpasture Trail at Cranberry Wilderness is just over 6 miles long. Mostly flat, gentle slopes and a wide, variety of terrain and plenty to explore.
Not too long ago, we loaded up and headed over to hike with a rag-tag group of kids.
6 miles. 6 kids. 3 photos. This, is the story.
Too often the simple fact of being unsure if you are prepared will prevent stepping outside and having an adventure.
Usually the hardest part is just (sorry Nike) “doing it”. Get up, throw the kids in the car, some water, some granola bars and roll. Yes, it can be that easy.
Sometimes, it may be difficult to pry kids away from the Xbox, DS, or TV. The persistence in pushing them out the door is worth it. The adventure to be had on the trail is one that creates awareness of surroundings, and memories of time with friends and family.
On our way up, the fall colors were at their peak at Cranberry. Bright oranges, reds, yellow and muted brown. The colors there are about a week ahead of ours here in the New River Gorge.
It made for a beautiful drive.
The real story of the day was watching the kids experience new things. Unexpected wonders of fall from the deep rich colors, to the smells encountered just walking through the woods.
From pine thicket to bog there was something new around every corner.
Milkweed pods? Check. Opening them to send the tiny seeds afloat with childhood wishes attached. They also make great projectiles for throwing at your sister (as my son demonstrated!).
The point is this: You do not need to plan an extensive backcountry trip to get out and have fun. Throw on your tennis shoes, grab some water and let your kids show you what they discover.