Last weekend, we had a Sunday afternoon off and decided to explore Rollins State Park in Warner. Rollins Park is one of the reasons I was interested in getting a State Park Family Pass because it is close by to us and a quick, fun family "hike".
1066 Kearsarge Mountain Road
Warner, New Hampshire
Most NH State Parks, including Rollins, are "closed" for the winter, meaning no one is manning the entrance and, in many cases, the entry road is blocked to traffic. While this does mean we weren't able to summit Mount Kearsarge, we did have a lovely "hike" (read: slow rambling walk) along the entry road to the park.
My husband and I decided years ago that it is the journey that matters and not the destination when it comes to hiking with small children, so we try to enjoy all the little adventures along the way and not to focus on the summit we will not reach. Luckily, there were lots of fun adventures for us along the way.
We spent at least half an hour climbing in, over, and on this giant fallen tree. Not only did it serve as a "house" for our two-year-old, but it also served as a big climbing adventure for our nine and six year old, especially since it was covered in ice.
Not soon afterward, my son found this small stream. We followed it and ended up at a much bigger rushing one that had carved itself into the landscape. The kids were amazed how the little stream seemed to disappear under the snow several times, only to reappear later. Yes, we got wet, but luckily we always pack extra socks.
We didn't see any wildlife on the "hike", but did see deer and mouse tracks. I enjoyed trying to identify trees by their bark. Despite spending a lot of time in the woods my whole life, I am only now learning about plant identification and, honestly, it's a lot more fun than it sounds. It's like a real world puzzle for adults!
We really didn't get very far in Rollins. It was chilly and had snowed recently and we all got wet in the stream, so we ended up heading home after a couple hours, but we are looking forward to going back in the Spring and getting to the top.
I've always loved CCC projects. Usually the workmanship is beautiful and clearly a labor of love.