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Best Hikes in the National Parks — National Geographic

This article is pretty exciting. Some of the hikes listed here probably aren’t doable for me but some are and they are now on my list.

Explore the 20 best hikes in the national parks, with insider tips and maps, selected by the experts at National Geographic.

Source: Best Hikes in the National Parks — National Geographic

Christmas Trails

This year I headed to Michigan to visit my parents for Christmas. I had a goal to get out to a trail or two while there. The weather wasn’t keen on cooperating with us but we had two days where we could get outside.

The first trail we walked was the Kiwanis Trail at Hopkins Lake. I have been to Hopkins Lake in the past but had never walked the trails. They are still fairly new and my dad actually helped with some of the building of these trails. There are three different ones to choose from – 1.5, 2, & 3 miles. The wander through a marshy area and near the small lake (almost a pond).

The woodsy area sheltered us from the wind and list mist so we were able to have a pleasant hike. My parents accompanied us. Even in their late 70s they get around and had a good time. We all went slow and steady for them.

reflection mom - blackandwhite

If I lived in town I could see myself running these trails often. They criss-cross quite a bit so you could change things up often. There isn’t a lot of elevation but just enough in a couple of places for a challenge. My hometown should be pretty proud of the area as its beautiful.

My mom, my kids and I also got out on Christmas day for a walk. The sun was out and the wind wasn’t blowing. We headed over to the hospital trail. It runs along our river and with the sun shining so bright it made for a great walk.

Untitled The trail at the hospital is actually a ParCourse with different stations for exercising. My son loves these trails and always makes sure to try each one. The rings are his favorite as he likes to flip and hang upside down. Untitled

If you walk or run the whole ParCourse it is about a mile. We did about half of it since we walked there from my parent’s house. I run it often when I am home.

Overall, I was happy to add two trail walks/hikes to my 52 Hike Challenge that I started in November. I was thinking that if I work hard enough, I might be able to do 104 hikes instead of 52. Goal set!

To see all of my photos from my Michigan trip, click on the link below.

Christmas in Michigan

Burke Lake

This past weekend was so beautiful that I was determined to not spend the days indoors. My son really didn’t want to leave the house on Saturday but I promised him some time at the park if he went with me to REI and then for a little hike afterwards.

We went to REI to get him some trail shoes. He was always wearing some older sneakers but because he keeps asking to go on harder hikes, I decided he needed the right kind of shoes. I wouldn’t say REI’s selection was amazing… they had only 4 to pick from but we were able to find some that work well for him.

After dropping some cash at REI we headed over to Burke Lake in Fairfax. I had heard a lot about it but had never been. I knew it would be busy considering how nice the weather was. My son was excited because if there’s a lake – that means he can skip rocks. I could give him 100 rocks and he’d skip them all. He loves it so much. Burke Lake is a rather large park – I know we only saw part of it. There is a nice trail that goes around the whole park. I think I saw that it is about 5 miles around the whole lake. The boy and I headed to the path and started our walk. Apparently there is a mini railroad at Burke Lake. My son HAD to walk the train tracks. This is something he gets from his Papa (my dad). We really didn’t get very far on the trail because of this but that’s ok.

The trail also has a ParCourse. I think they are fun and we took time to try a couple of the stations. My son’s favorite is the rings. I’ve been doing a ton of work on my back and pull-ups. I found out on Saturday that I still cannot do one. Haha. But I can pull myself up a little and do leg lifts so Yah! Stomach!

I would highly recommend this for families that want to start their kids on hiking. It is easy. There is lots to see and do and it is beautiful!

Burke Lake//

Bisti Wilderness

The Bisti Wilderness in New Mexico looks unique and different. The rock formations are unlike anything I’ve seen before.