Family Hiking Tips
Why You Should Still Hike in the Fall & Winter
Don’t shy away from hiking with your family during the Fall and Winter months as the positives clearly outweigh the negatives:
- NO BUGS!
- NO SPIDER WEBS! Those of you that have hiked in the summer months, know the experience of having those yucky spider webs get all over your face…I hate them!!! I’m always glad to let the other hikers hit the trail first and get the spider webs all over their face…but when hiking in the winter, there are no spider webs.
- You don’t overheat. A cool morning or afternoon makes hiking in the Fall and Winter more pleasant.
- You can see more. The forests change when the leaves fall. I love the view from the ridges of the Jefferson Memorial Forest in the winter.
The Do’s & Don’ts for Family Hiking
Make initial hikes short.
I recommend 2 miles or less and very little elevation change (see the recommended hike at the end).
Prepare a snack and hot drink.
You want the hike to be fun and rewarding for the kids (and yourself). These can be healthy snacks or not. Chalk it up as a picnic! Plan ahead and purchase a day pack and thermos.
Be positive throughout the hike.
This may be difficult because our children today are very stimulated by electronics. The forest CAN compete but you have to help them shift gears. They will come to love the forest, its sounds, colors, and smells. Help them notice the forest.
Don’t be afraid to be quiet and let the forest teach your children.
No one likes to be cold. Pick a sunny Saturday or Sunday with the temperature in the upper 40s or 50s. Any type of sport sneaker will work, and dress with layers so you can shed them if you get warm.
Try This Louisville Hiking Trail First!
The Horine Cemetery Trail, Jefferson Memorial Forest
This is a 2-mile out and back trail, meaning that it is 1 mile out and 1 mile back. There is almost no elevation change, which means a perfect trail for young children.
Directions to the Trailhead Parking lot:
-Take the Gene Snyder Freeway to the New Cut Exit
-Turn Left onto New Cut Road heading toward Fairdale
-Follow New Cut Road for approximately 1.2 miles
-Enter the Roundabout and take the first right onto Mitchell Hill Road
-Follow Mitchell Hill Road for approximately 1 mile
-Turn Left onto Holsclaw Hill Road
-Follow this road up the hill for approximately 1.5 miles
-At the top of the hill take a sharp Right into the Horine Reserve section of the Jefferson Forest
-Follow the road to the parking lot
-Exit your car and walk through the campground gate
-Walk the campground road for approximately .2 miles
You will see the Horine Cemetery sign on the left and a gate just before the porta potty.
This is a beautiful 2-mile hike!
When you get there, let the kids look around while you prepare the snacks and hot chocolate!!
Before going on the hike, you might do a Wikipedia search for the Horine Family and Cemetery. Share the Horine story!
Everything that you see around you once belonged to them.
And now it’s yours.