Hudson Valley Parent

November 2013

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There is a Scandinavian expression: "There is no bad weather, just bad clothing." ages parents to experiment with different baby-wearing methods to make hiking and nursing with little ones easier and enjoyable for the whole family. Cold-weather hiking spots Below, I recommend some of my favorite area spots to hike, so that you can enjoy walking in the Hudson Valley's own winter wonderlands: Bear Mountain (Orange County) Hike up the mountain or on easy roads around the lake and enjoy resort amenities like a carousel, zoo, and ice skating rink. Kid-friendly hikes That's also the purpose of one local dad's website Hike the Hudson Valley ( An experienced outdoorsman from Hopewell Junction and father of two, the site's creator Mike Todd provides "step-bystep trail guides to 52 (and counting) of the best hikes in the area," and the green pins on the site's map indicate hikes that work especially well with children in tow. Some of Mike's favorite area hikes with his kids include Dover Stone Church, Burger Hill, High Falls Conservation Area, Falling Waters Preserve, Poet's Walk, and Peach Hill Park. Mike recounts a frightening fall he took while hiking with one of his children in a back-carrier, and offers his No. 1 tip for parents who baby wear: "Use a pair of trekking poles. They're extremely handy for giving you extra stability, since stumbling is not really an option." Armed with these tips, you and your family can enjoy winter beyond downhill skiing or sledding. Some trails allow for snowshoes or cross-country skis, but many are accessible with good walking shoes or boots. Erin Wyble Newcomb hikes, writes, runs, reads, plays, and loves with her husband and two daughters in the Hudson Valley. She teaches literature and composition at SUNY New Paltz and escapes into the forest with her family every chance she gets. Clermont (Columbia County) Stop by the historic house, enjoy the views of the Hudson River, and explore the grounds, from formal gardens to carriage roads to steep hills leading to the river. Esopus Meadows Preserve (Ulster County) Look for herons and swans, skip rocks on the river, and walk the network of easy trails; my favorite leads to a pedestrian-and boat-access-only beach with a great view of the lighthouse. Fallsburg O&W Rail Trail (Sullivan County) Walk these level trails, and stop by the visitor's center for an exhibit on historical trains. Minnewaska (Ulster County) Stroll around the lake and watch for hawks flying beneath you on these steep carriage trails lined with craggy rocks. Mohonk (Ulster County) Explore the extensive network of carriage roads and trails, or stay close to the visitor's center and check out the children's forest and indoor educational facilities. Poet's Walk (Dutchess County) Follow easy trails to the gazebo and add on loops to the summer house and flagpole lot, and see why these views inspired nineteenth-century writers. Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail (Dutchess County) Hike these packed-gravel trails connecting the historic Roosevelt sites and watch for birds and wildlife along the way. Hudson Valley Parent 17 n

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