View Full Version : ideas for sections with 8 to 9 yo please

05-26-2008, 06:24
I have finally come to the conclusion that a non-stop thru hike is not in the plans for my family at this time. So, I am looking for some thoughts on a section hike for next year. It would be my husband, my daughter (she just turned 7) and myself. We would be traveling from Australia but have family in MA. My ideal section would be:

*easy access to start point (doesn't have to be near MA but close to an airport is great!)
*easy to get back to MA after (airport?)
*I want my daughter to love hiking/camping so something family oriented would be great!
*easy to access to towns so that we can restock
*nice towns/areas to take zeros in
*not having to hitch would be fabulous!!

I was thinking that a 2 week section would be great but that we would take 3 weeks to do it. So we would take a zero day every couple days to look around the area and explore.

We are hoping to start the grommet off on a 3 day hike near home and then progress to an 8 day. So I figure by the time we make it over there for this hike 2 weeks will be good. Although after the 3 day she may never speak to me again!

Oh yes, a recommendation on time of year too please!

Thank you for all the input!

05-26-2008, 07:33
Whenever someone wants to know where to hike, i almost always say Maine as it's the best part of the AT. That being said, it does get wet up there. Sept is always the best time to hike almost anywhere.
Have fun.

05-26-2008, 09:57
My suggestion is to make it strictly a hike, not several hikes interspersed with sightseeing.

When I took a 9-year-old on a month-long walk, I spotted food along the route so he would not be distracted by towns and town attractions. I wanted it to be strictly a hiking excursion, so I wouldn't be faced with challenges about how towns are more fun.

It worked. He insisted on doing 600 miles of the AT with me two years later, though there was no way to avoid town distractions then.

I always let the kids set the pace -- which is one of several reasons why I'll never get a 2000-miler patch. But hiking should be fun for kids, not a chore.

As for where and when. Maine is always great, but lacks trailside airports. September is always great, every where. Except for mothers' fascination with schools. That's why Jon didn't continue on to Katahdin with me. His Mom thought school took priority.

Connecticut and Massachusetts would be great, though a bit short, unless you continue into Vermont for a taste of real mountains.


05-26-2008, 16:21
Stratton Pond area, New Hampshire. Easy access, you can select different parking areas without extreme elevations and a lake to swim in. This is one of the first places I took my kids when they were about 8-10 years old. They loved it.

Jack Tarlin
05-26-2008, 16:40
Best of luck with your hike!

Please let us know when you're thinking of taking your American holiday, as we can can give more appropriate suggestions about particular sections of the Trail when we know when you're going to be there.

If you're going to be here in Spring or summertime, I'd consider Shenandoah National Park, which is fairly easy, is easy to get to, has convenient re-supply opportunities; has bathrooms, campgrounds, camp stores, and other "family" oriented features; plus it's loaded with chances to see native wildlife.

Later in the year I'd suggest somewhere further North. I second the idea of Vermont, which is beautiful, but considerably more rugged than Shenandoah.

05-26-2008, 23:59
Thank you for the input everyone.

We are pretty open on when we make the trip, although it is usually much cheaper to fly in September then it is in June or July! I am not concerned about pulling her out of school for the trip. Her only holiday time over 2 weeks is in Dec/Jan and I won't be camping then!

If we go the New England route we wouldn't have to worry about the airport idea as much as family could be our shuttle! Although we could always hitch a ride with the black flies and mosquitos depending on the time of year.

Hopefully I can narrow down some places as it gets closer to next year.

Thanks everyone! I am off to do some more research.