Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bird to Gird trail (from Bird Creek)

In the interest of a large parking lot, we started the Bird to Gird pathway (biking, jogging stroller friendly, toddler leg friendly) at the Bird Creek parking lot.

This is the large parking lot at mile 102 on the Seward Highway, that has very obviously been blasted by dynamite at some point in its creation.

The parking lot afforded much space and grass for the kiddos to run around post hike, as well as a great view of Bird Creek. Be mindful though--- to continue on the Bird to Gird trail from here, you have to turn right and go under the highway and up the staircase.

 There are many access points where you do not have to cross: Indian creek (on right side of highway on the way to Bird Creek) and Bird Point (further down the highway).

The wind was blowing and the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds. About 1/4 mile in, the trail crosses into trees. The wind dies down, and you are given beautiful views of Turnagain arm, mountains and the railroad tracks.

A little over a mile down the trail, there was a fantastic pull off for the kids. There was a bench and a bike rack (?), as well as a small hill for kiddos to climb, rocks for them to scamper over, and a small bridge to cross. We stayed here for quite a while. I am fairly certain that some kiddos would still be there if not coerced to go back.

Going south of town is always a role of the die-- it can be sunny and gorgeous in Anchorage though raining and cloudy 20 minutes south. The sun ended up shining brightly for the last part of the walk, which all adults and kiddos agreed was the perfect ending.


My pace was a little slow, given that I had a toddler that wanted to trek and doddle.  A 50 minute mile can only mean that a toddler is hiking.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hillside Park x-country trails... in the rain

This was an epic morning for a hike, my fellow trekkers. I knew it was going to be a good day when a Mama moose and her two little ones greeted me while I was loading up the car.

(as seen from Amanda's driveway)

Surely a sign that one must be out hiking, eh?

It started out grey and sprinkling rain. 7 mamas and 10 kiddos set out on the trail anyway. Three little guys went on their own power, and the rest rode in style in strollers  with weather covers. Just going out in the rain to hike is already a hard-core thing to do. Everyone was in good spirits walking in the drizzling, and sometimes pouring, rain.

If you have not frequented the Hillside x-country trails in the summer, it is a fantastic workout. It is located on the top of Abbott Road, right next to the Hillside ski area (trails are behind the "Hillside park" sign). There are undulating hills of all shapes and sizes. We stuck to the lighted Hillside loop, but there is a longer Service loop if you are so inclined. I personally need to re-acclimate myself to the trails now that there is no longer skis and snow to worry on.

We walked about 3.5 miles total when all things were said and done. Puddles were stomped in. Mud was rampant. Laughter was abundant.

Nothing like a solid hike and workout on a rainy day.

Thanks much for contributing to one heck of a hike!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Westchester Lagoon

 If this morning was not indicative of Summer's fast approach, I don't know what is! The sky was without a cloud, the sun was shining, and it was a balmy 55 degrees F. You simply cannot get better than that.

A good number of parents and kiddos perused the Coastal Trail from Westchester Lagoon this morning. We were not one of them, as my little guy decided to stay and enjoy the park. Either way, being outside was what was important. For those that did hit the actual trail, it is very stroller friendly. Toddlers can also go on their own power, but be mindful of the many other users on the path (bikers, joggers). On a sunny day like today, it is hard to beat the mountain views, waterfowl and lake vista.

Many parents and kiddos met up at the playground post hike. This is definitely one conundrum of a playground! While very obviously for the older crowd for the most part, toddlers and bigger kiddos can have just as much fun. Half of the enjoyment is trying to figure out how to use said equipment!
There are many challenging climbs....

Of all shapes and sizes!

And even a suspended teeter-totter! (Enjoyable for adults and kiddos).

  Best of luck to all the Mamas participating in this Sunday's 30th Gold Nugget Triathlon! If you are not participating, go and cheer on some of your compatriots!

See you next week. Many thank you's to Lisa for guest hosting today!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Prospect Heights Trailhead

What a great morning! We had sunshine, we had drizzle, we had snow. Yes, snow at the very end.  Needless to say, no one was sure exactly what to wear when we arrived.

Lia wrote a fantastic review of the hike. We had many new faces that were wonderful to get to know. At least 10 Mamas, and 11 kiddos were ready to roll.

While the trail conditions were still a bit mucky (and snowy!) in places, a good hunk of the group made it to the bridge and creek. The trail after that was a solid stream of mud water, so we decided to turn back. Many toddlers made it that far using their own leg power-- so more power to them!

Bear spray was a well-worn accessory here, as it is quite wooded. On a clear day it affords some spectacular views of Denali and the Anchorage bowl. For today, we had illuminating conversation and looking to find good footing.

After the hike a group of us stayed in the large parking area and let the kiddos run more and explore. There is nothing like happy faces post hike to make the uncertain weather worth it.

Thanks much to all who attended!