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Old 04-03-2015, 06:15 PM   #1
MrKawfey
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Backpacking Activities for Kids

This is the second thread I am starting regarding my upcoming summer trips with my 4 year old son.
I would love to get some suggestions regarding activities to keep little kids happy and having fun while in the woods.
Last summer we hiked into Rock Pond lean-to and spent 2 nights there. There were plenty of fun things to do and I am looking for even more suggestions.

While we were there we hiked around to the other side and explore the old graphite mine and the ruins. We went swimming. We made fishing poles from sticks and some string (not with the intention of catching anything). We went looking for frogs and we brought a few books with us.

As most parents learn pretty quick, my priorities are totally irrelevant. The most important thing is to keep the kids having fun so they always want to come back for more.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:18 PM   #2
MrKawfey
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Also, activities that are specific to a location are even better. Such as an easy summit or view from a cliff. Locations with waterfalls, bouldering, etc.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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Look into a place called Merck Forest. It's located in southern VT. For not too much money you can rent cabins and I believe, lean-tos. There are several miles of hiking trails and a couple of summits you can climb to.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:05 PM   #4
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The Rock Pond Brook waterfall is pretty cool if you havent taken him there yet. Nice views from Treadway Mountain also.
Kids sometimes like going back to places where they've had lots of fun before, and then finding something new and even more interesting. Worked for me anyway.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:50 AM   #5
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Thomas Mountain in Bolton Landing. At the top there's a cabin that's open to the public and is a great for kids to explore. (Like a lean to, it's open to the public for overnight stays on a first come, first serve basis.) The view of Lake George is the adult perk. There are two trails up: The shorter one is an old jeep road (boring!). The longer one is a more interesting and varied trail that follows a stream for a bit and has a side trail with views to the west.

http://www.lglc.org/preserves/cat-thomas-mountains/
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
MrKawfey
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Thanks for suggestions, I had no idea that there was a waterfall on rock pond brook.
I showed my wife the website for Merck Forest and she is really excited about taking the kids. We have a 1.5 yr old as well and that would be a perfect thing to do to include her.

Also, can't wait to check out the cabin on Cat mountain.

How about some other ideas that have worked for folks like bringing checkers or card games, nature scavenger hunt, etc..
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:42 PM   #7
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If you find tracks try to identify them. I have a small pocket guide to animal tracks. It has all animals you would see in the ADKs plus some.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:17 PM   #8
snapper
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If you can, include your child in planning for the trip; i.e. food, activities, etc. The more they have invested in the experience the more they'll probably enjoy themselves. You might (if you're not doing this already) be sure they have one favorite outdoor toy to bring along and a book or two. Both can help you out if the weather turns rainy and you're tent bound for any amount of time.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

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Old 04-22-2015, 04:23 PM   #9
colinzeye
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Ive found with my 3 year old and my 6 year old, it really comes down to my enjoyment and excitement. We have done several backwoods trips with them, some in Lean tos and some in tents, but I try to find places with stuff to do for them, whether it be a swimming hole or fishing, but when all else fails, there is nothing you cant find in the woods that wouldn't peak the interest of a child. My son absolutely loved this past summers canoe trip on Cranberry Lake where we island hopped for a few days. We could swim, and fish, and my daughter loved the loons that came close to the shore for her....this year we are thinking of doing the same thing in the Saranac Lake area
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:30 AM   #10
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Our daughter is now seven and even though I've always brought a few small things (Uno, notebook, books, etc) she usually finds other ways to entertain herself. She likes building "fairy houses", poking around, looking for frogs, throwing rocks in the water, etc. She also talks. A lot. On our last longer backpacking trip (6 days) I also brought a small ipod shuffle for some music in the tent.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:08 PM   #11
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I'm not the most experienced kid person but have had good luck with bringing a magnifying glass to keep others's kids occupied and happy.

**edited to add...too look at things, not to burn things**
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:45 PM   #12
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2 Years ago I took my kids on their first backpack trip. 3 days at Pharaoh Lake. I had a 6 year old a 4 year old and a 18 month old. Easy beautiful trail. We brought fishing line and hooks and the kids had a blast turning over logs and rocks looking for worms and finding that perfect fishing pole sized stick. There were so many baby trout in that lake that they finally ended up just ditching the worms and would dip their hooks in the water and pull out a fish.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:53 PM   #13
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We haven't done any backpacking, but my daughter can be a little less than motivated when hiking. The trick with her is to have a special celebratory treat when we get to the destination. The treat of choice is usually a brownie from the bakery in Speculator (they do make a good brownie!).
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:40 AM   #14
fintastic
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Any hike recommendations near Tupper Lake?

Hello all. I am piggybacking this thread to get a quick question off before I run out the door to work. Our family will be visiting Tupper Lake in July. Any thoughts on nice hikes for teenagers and preteens? We have done Mt. Arab before, and plan to include Mt. Ampersand.I am looking to add 2-3 more short hikes (under 5 hours per) into our visit. Hopefully trying to keep the destinations within a 20-25 minute drive from Tupper Lake. Any thoughts/advice is appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:09 AM   #15
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If you're in Tupper you should do Coney Mountain. It fits your description perfectly, and is pretty much right in Tupper Lake. The summit is completely open, and the hike is nice. My kids loved it.

http://www.cnyhiking.com/ConeyMountain.htm
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:59 PM   #16
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Thank you OSBum. I may have overlooked these if not for your pointers. Great leads - thanks!
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:52 PM   #17
MrKawfey
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Interesting, I stopped getting notifications for posts to this thread and I didn't realize there were new posts.
Yes, I have relied on the tasty treat trick many times too. Some times it's like trying to lead a dog along while waving a biscuit in front of his nose.

Found this online and it looks perfect for kids:

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Old 07-02-2015, 02:52 AM   #18
Victor33
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Yes I agree that Thomas Mountain is a great place for preschoolers to explore. They’ll learn loads of things over there. My daughter goes to a local Phoenix preschool and her teacher also took a trip of kiddos to Thomas Mountain.
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