There’s something different about hiking in the winter. I recommend you try winter hiking with kids. You’ll find the snow muffles the usual noise – you hear your breath and the snow crunch under your boots. On a sunny day, the birds chatter their happiness. It’s just so peaceful and invigorating to hike in the snow. Along with sledding and skiing, my family enjoys hiking our local parks in the winter. Everything looks different in a blanket of snow. Fresher. Cleaner. Somehow new.
Get out and enjoy this milder than usual winter with a family snow hike!
It’s easy to get your family to enjoy a hike in the winter. Several area parks have trails that are open year-round, ranging from a short jaunt to several miles. When my kids were little, we would take a sled along that we could pull with a rope. They would spend part of the time riding and part of the time running, stomping, and rolling in the snow. Cross country skiing is a great winter activity with kids too! Stop and build a snowman in an open field then see what you can find to make a face – pine cones – milkweed pods?
Do some animal tracking!
The woods come alive with animal tracks in the winter too. While winter hiking with my kids, they loved figuring out who had walked the trails before them. Do these prints belong to a deer, rabbit or squirrel? Where were they going? Did they run down a hole? Did they stop and eat? The tracks tell all. When you get home you can look up the tracks and find out what animal was in the woods before you!
Get outside and enjoy the outdoors on a snowy hike close to home :
West Lake Park has trails around the lakes and up and down the hills.
Black Hawk State Park in Rock Island has trails on both sides of the road, near the river and through the woods.
Scott County Park has miles of trails just outside Davenport
Even your local neighborhood park is a great place to start. Put the whole family in snow pants and boots and go explore. Make a thermos of hot cocoa and a snack to share in the car after your hike. Sometimes the simple, free family activities are the ones most cherished and remembered for years to come.