Photographs courtesy of the Kallin family. On August 31, the Kallin family—parents Dave and Emily and children Nathan and Maddy—reached the summit of Katahdin. The clouds that cloaked the peak’s long shoulders let them see only a few feet in front of them; there would be none of the spectacular views they might expect from…

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Looking for a family outing for any skill level, from first timers to pint-sized backcountry pros? There’s a hike for that! See below for recommendations. FIRST HIKES FOR KIDS Four classic first trail experiences for young hikers. Each of these short hikes can help build a strong foundation for a family hiking tradition. Housatonic River…

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I took my daughter on her first hike before she was 6 weeks old. My husband, Jim, and I picked the shortest route to the summit of Mount Cardigan, the West Ridge Trail, which winds a mile and a half up through forest to sloping granite ledges and a view that sweeps across New Hampshire’s…

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It was as a young adult that Yemaya Maurer, coauthor of AMC Guide to Winter Hiking & Camping, became aware of the pleasures of traveling through a winter landscape and mourned a childhood that hadn’t included it. As she wrote in the guide’s introduction, she wished she had known as a child “what it was like…

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When parents consider how a child learns to appreciate and understand the natural world, they often focus on time spent outdoors. But there can be a connection to time spent indoors: kids poring over descriptions and explanations, photographs and illustrations, as if learning in the laps of naturalists who came before. I recently talked with…

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Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote what I thought then was my final entry for this blog. Over the course of nearly 300 posts, I’d explored “great kids” in the “great outdoors”—in many cases my own two children, Ursula and Virgil, and their explorations out the doors of our home in rural New Hampshire….

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A modern woman rambles through a season with Thoreau Appalachia, Winter/Spring 2013 I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering; which word is beautifully derived “from idle people…

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Summer’s coming, the school year is almost over. Do you see yourself or your family in the following descriptions? You want to go on a family camping trip, but you aren’t sure how to get away from the crowds (and RV generators). You’re ready to leave the car behind but not quite ready to backpack….

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What does a parent do with an incredibly active child? Patricia Ellis Herr’s first daughter, Alex, was “awake all the time” as a baby and “not able to sit still” as a 5-year-old — “a boundless bundle of energy.” Another mother might sign Alex up for classes or ask her pediatrician if her daughter was…

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“What kinds of maps do you use?” AMC Adventure Guide Jerome Val Rios started the session with a question. Girl Scouts from Maine and New Hampshire had traveled to the Highland Center at Crawford Notch to learn outdoor skills. The girls had climbed Mount Willard the day before. Now Val Rios was teaching them how…

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