I have recently discovered Mission Trails Regional Park. I always knew it was there, but I never realized what a gem it is to have in the middle of this large city. There are a number of hikes and adventures to be had. I was informed about guided nature walks that take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday morning.
It’s free and I thought it would be a nice way to get out and get active as a family. We arrived just in time for the guided walk and as we were walking through the parking lot into the visitors center, The Boy decided to run, and in turn fell and skinned up his knee and arm. We were off to a bad start. Once he was cleaned up and bandaged up, we started with our guide. The Boy was still cranky, so I decided to break out the stroller. Let me just mention here that the guide was not an ideal guide for a group with small children. He talked a lot about the vegetation, which could have been interesting if I wasn’t trying to keep a 2-year-old in a stroller and entertain a 5-year-old who kept asking when the hike was going to start. The guide didn’t seem to notice that his pace was way too slow. I kept thinking the pace would pick up and it never did, so after about a half hour, we took off on our own. We took the stroller back to the car and walked the whole visitor’s center loop (1.4 miles) as a family. About halfway through, The Girl started whining about needing to go potty.
Luckily our adult to kid ratio in our family is 1-1 because each of us had to be holding on to a kid’s arm the whole time so that there would be no more injuries (be it skinned knees or broken elbows).
The hike itself may have been enjoyable if it would have started out better (and if The Girl didn’t need to go to the bathroom for half of it). There were a couple of really cool oak trees that grew out from the ground and then the branches grew back down all the way to the ground, making an umbrella effect where we were able to stop and rest in the shade for a bit.
The Boy thought it was a great big tungle (tunnel, he’s kind of obsessed) so he was happy about it. All in all, I think this would be a good trail for kids a little older than ours (or maybe just a little less wimpy). I did carry The Boy for a bit and The Girl whined a lot (which I knew would be the case). It would also be a great trail to carry a kid in a backpack. I also saw somebody running with a jogging stroller. I guess I should have kept the stroller. Things might have turned out better. I’m sure we’ll be back someday with the kids. Just not this summer.
P.S. Don’t forget your sunscreen and water. It can get hot and there’s not much shade.