Start Them Young - Part 2
Photography and Text By Philip Tulin & Mel Tulin © All rights reserved.

Hiking with a 3 year old can be very challenging…or it can be both educational and fun for all. This is a continuation of our hiking adventures from last week.
The next day, we thought that we might “try” hiking up to Nymph Lake and Dream Lake. Little Marty got his little walking stick and his hat and was on his way. A Zip-Loc bag of cut-up apples and some pretzels went a long way for encouragement. Next thing we knew, we were at Nymph Lake (which is about .5 miles) where we saw the beautiful pond lilies with pretty yellow Mel & Phil flowers and spectacular views of Flattop and Hallett Peak. He loved walking around the lake and taking everything in. Should we try Dream Lake? It’s only .6 miles more. Why not! And off we went. We stopped at the overlook to see the forests and meadows and take a little break. On the way up we saw lots of wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush and Purple Larkspur. We crossed a bridge and saw some snow on the side of the trail. Dream Lake was beautiful with Hallett Peak as a backdrop. He loved climbing on the rocks.
Hm-m-m…Emerald Lake was only .7 mile longer….let’s go for it! Little Marty was loving it all and learning about everything that he could take in. The little “chipmunks” were a big treat and we saw lots of them along all of the trails. He learned how we do not feed the wildlife because then they cannot fend for themselves in the winter. We walked part way around Dream Lake where he saw many anglers. We’d stop and sit on a rock and watch the fish swim by. Hiking up the many steps was Gramma’s turn to take his hand. We sang little songs and practiced counting how many steps we climbed. We passed many little waterfalls and saw lots of trees and flowers. Emerald Lake was just gorgeous. We snacked while the Clark’s Nutcrackers, Mountain Chickadees and Stellar’s Jay chattered nearby. We never thought we would make it this far, so we didn’t even think about bringing lunch. Thank goodness we had a lot of snacks and water. The hike back down was short… he was now our little “trooper” and we were all very proud of him! He had hiked 3.6 miles that day! The reward was a lunch at a picnic table by the side of the river.
The final day we all thought….Cub Lake? Can he make it? Well, we’ll try and turn around when he gets tired. At the beginning of the trail, we crossed 2 bridges and looked for the American Dipper. We passed an old beaver dam and looked for the weasel that Grampa Phil had seen a couple of weeks ago. He loved to see where “Paul Bunyan” (or really a glacier) split a rock apart and it was just hanging there. We saw the Marmot sunning himself on the rock and where the little woodpeckers and wrens make their nests in the cavities of the dead trees. We also found lots of “resting rocks” where we had our snacks. Today we did bring our lunch and even some M&Ms for encouragement. We passed 2 ponds where we saw some baby Mallards and their parents. The last ascent up to Cub Lake was somewhat steep, but he just loved it! We sang and counted and talked about everything that we saw. We had a picnic by the lake while the little chipmunks and ducks tried to scrounge our food. “Don’t feed the wildlife,” Little Marty said. He was learning some good outdoor lessons at such a young age. He hiked all of the way down with very little stopping and we were all amazed! 4.6 miles by a 3 year old! Wow!
If you keep children busy by talking about everything you see on the trail, it can be a life-long lesson. It’s good to do some research on the hikes so that you can share this with them. Remember to take sunscreen, a hat, lots of water (he loved drinking from his Dad’s Camelbak!), lots of snacks (pretzels, apples or M&Ms were a big hit), lunch, and a walking stick. We were totally amazed at how much a little child can do and learn about the environment at such a young age! Hats off to Little Marty!
P.S. We just received an email from Little Marty’s Mom saying that they had just gone for a 2 hour hike in CT and he got so excited on the trail because he saw a tree back east that had “snow knees!” I guess he did learn something, but more than anything, we think it opened up a whole new world in nature for both parents and children.
"Seeing Through Outdoor Eyes" articles are available for newspaper syndication. Please click the
"Contact OE" link below to inquire about including the weekly articles in your newspaper.

My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog

Family Of Swans At Boat Meadow On Cape Cod

It was such a treat to see this family of Swans at Boat Meadow on Cape Cod Bay the other day. At first I thought they were white buoys that had washed in during the storm, but, as they got closer to shore, I realized they were Swans. I have never seen Swans swimming there … Continue reading Family Of Swans At Boat Meadow On Cape Cod

Goodbye, Liam's At Nauset Beach On Cape Cod

Liam’s at Nauset Beach, the iconic clam shack on Nauset Beach in Orleans on Cape Cod, was demolished on Tuesday due to heavy beach erosion from the 3 Nor' easters this past winter on Cape Cod. I was not able to be there but I screen-saved a shot from the Cape Cod Times video. You … Continue reading Goodbye, Liam’s At Nauset Beach On Cape Cod

Kite Surfing On Cape Cod Bay¦ Brrr!

It has been freezing here on Cape Cod for the past couple of weeks with high winds. But that doesn’t deter the die-hard kite surfers who love the wind and don’t mind the cold. I thought this was pretty cool the other day. It was 27 degrees with at least 25 mph winds and he … Continue reading Kite Surfing On Cape Cod Bay… Brrr!

Photography Outdoor Adventure Outdoor Eyes Crafts 7522 Radio Home

© 2000-2018 ImageNNetwork  All rights reserved.