Are hikers born or made? One of my children, aged 6, is a budding naturalist and is usually eager to hit a trail. The other, well, she claims to enjoy “hoteling” more than hiking. I only hope that with each family hike we try, our four-year-old will get more used to short treks. She likes Clif bars, which is a start. There are definitely ways to make the journey more fun for kids such as playing “I Spy”, or singing as you go (which helps ward off both animals and music lovers).
Now is the perfect time for family hiking, before wet weather makes the footing less predictable. BC Parks has compiled a list of Top Ten Family Hikes in the province, from Manning Park’s 1.5-kilometre Paintbrush Trail, to the Wagon Road Self-Guided Nature Trail in the Cariboo’s Lac la Hache Park. For more inspiration, be sure to check out our Winter 2012 Outdoor Advisor, which is all about bringing children into the backcountry. (And bringing them home again, of course. Even the stormy four-year-olds.)