The Snowshoe Passenger

As the mother of a young child, I know how important it is to get kids outdoors and enjoying nature. I also know how hard it can be to find appropriate places to go with them.

This fall my husband, Ryan, and I bought a backpack to carry our three-year-old son, Mylo (it’s an Evenflo Snugli Cross Country Framed Carrier Backpack, if you’re curious). Our backpack is not only for hiking but has become a useful tool for winter activities, such as snowshoeing. I recently strapped Mylo to my back and took him for a snowshoe in our back yard.

I know you’re thinking that snowshoeing alone is hard work. You’re right, snowshoeing is often an intense workout filled with sweat, thirst and tired limbs. I won’t deny that snowshoeing with a 5-10 pound pack and 30-pound child on your back is even more difficult. However, it is one of the most rewarding silent sports experiences you’ll have if you’re a parent.

Perched above my shoulders, Mylo points out birds and trees along our path. He looks for deer and rabbits. He laughs as his seat bounces up and down with each step. More importantly, he relishes being outside in the winter. The snowshoe may have been a shorter trip than I would have taken on my own but even a 15-minute trek with Mylo in tow is worth every step.

I am lucky to have space in my backyard suitable for outdoor activities with young children. If you are visiting Door County or don’t have public area next to your house, there are plenty places you can take your kids for a gentle snowshoe. With a plethora of parks, the Door County Land Trust, and public areas there are a variety of places for snowshoers of every skill level.

Peninsula State Park has a great, short, easy terrain trail that starts and ends at the Nature Center. Bring along birdseed to enjoy chickadees eating directly out of your palm before or after snowshoeing and visit the Nature Center building, which is filled with native species and park information, as well as a friendly naturalist.

It’s never too early to teach your children about enjoying all the scenic beauty Door County has to offer while making fun discoveries along the way.

This article originally appeared on the Door County Silent Sports Insider blog on the Door County Visitor Bureau’s website:

Angela Sherman is the mother of a nature-loving almost three-year-old and a new baby expected to arrive this summer. Together with her husband, she enjoys kayaking, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, and exploring all the facets Door County’s landscape has to offer. When she’s not out in nature, she’s the Event Calendar Manager at the Peninsula Pulse and Distribution Manager at the Paper Boy.