We’re off to a great start! Luke and I have been taking advantage of the unseasonably hot weather and hiking most days of the week. I’m determined to get us out as much as possible before winter hits and we have to figure out how to deal with the snow and ice (it’s been a while!).

In the last week, Luke and I hiked in two new parks and completed two hikes we unsuccessfully attempted a few weeks ago. Daddy was able to join us for half of our hikes this week.

Read on for my trail notes from the first four hikes of my 52 Hike Challenge!

In an effort to keep my trail notes from completely taking over Two Kids in Tow, I’m going to publish them in sets of four. To read all of my notes in order, click on the 52 Hike Challenge category in the right sidebar.

Hike 4/52: Ute Valley Park Loop

Fourth hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Ute Valley Park Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Fourth hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Ute Valley Park Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Fourth hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Ute Valley Park Loop in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Ute Valley Park | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Ute Valley Park Loop
Distance Traveled: 3.87 miles
Time: 2 hours 18 minutes
Elevation Gained: 297 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Trail Notes

If a toddler throws a temper tantrum in the woods and no one (else) is around to hear it…

Today’s hike was more on the dramatic side, as we worked through not one, but two tantrums along the trail, and added over a mile to our planned mileage when we missed one of our turns. Luke wanted to walk instead of ride, which in itself wasn’t a huge deal, but what he meant by “walk” was “play in the dirt with my semi truck.” There was a lot of coaxing down the trail and a lot of whining to let “Lukey do it!” It’s hard to find a balance between letting Luke choose the pace and actually covering some distance, but I’m trying.

Hike 3/52: Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail

Third hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Third hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Third hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Palmer Park | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail
Distance Traveled: 1.25 miles
Time: 54 minutes
Elevation Gained: 144 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Monday, October 12, 2015

Trail Notes

We got to the trailhead just before the sun sank behind Pikes Peak. I carried Luke on my back and followed Andy along the trail, stopping every so often to take some pictures and soak in the view. The cool of the evening felt wonderful on our faces. We watched the sun set from the top of the trail and hiked back down to the bottom of the loop in the shade. We don’t do evening hikes very often, but every time we do, I am reminded why we should.

Hike 2/52: Canyon View Nature Trail + Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail

Second hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Canyon View Nature Trail + Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail in Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO • twokidsintow.com
Second hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Canyon View Nature Trail + Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail in Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO • twokidsintow.com
Second hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Canyon View Nature Trail + Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail in Castlewood Canyon State Park, CO • twokidsintow.com

Castlewood Canyon State Park | Franktown, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Canyon View Nature Trail + Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail
Distance Traveled: 3.95 miles
Time: 2 hour 39 minutes
Elevation Gained: 294 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trail Notes

Daddy joined us for the second hike of our 52 Hike Challenge today. We combined the Canyon View Nature Trail with the Inner Canyon-Lake Gulch Loop Trail for a beautiful (and hot!) 4-mile hike. Luke loved diaper dipping in Cherry Creek, climbing “big wocks!”, and looking for bears in the shady caves along the trail.

Hike 1/52: Calhan Paint Mines Trail

First hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Calhan Paint Mines Trail in Calhan, CO • twokidsintow.com
First hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Calhan Paint Mines Trail in Calhan, CO • twokidsintow.com
First hike of our 52 Hike Challenge: Calhan Paint Mines Trail in Calhan, CO • twokidsintow.com

Paint Mines Interpretive Park | Calhan, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Calhan Paint Mines Trail
Distance Traveled: 3.28 miles
Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
Elevation Gained: 295 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Friday, October 9, 2015

Trail Notes

I woke up with a heavy heart and a long list of reasons to stay home instead of going out and exploring a new trail with my boy. After breakfast, I decided to shove my morning to dos aside and strike out anyway. I threw on some clothes and grabbed some snacks, coffee, and water, and drove out of town. I put on Merle Haggard and laughed until I cried as I listened to “Mama Tried.” When we got to the trailhead, Luke asked to ride instead of walk, so I carried him the three and a quarter miles that looped around the Paint Mine formations. Between the drive, the music, and the hike, my spirits were renewed and my day got back on track.

52 Hike Challenge Are you participating in the 52 Hike Challenge? Say hello on Instagram or Facebook and let me know! I'm looking for other hikers to follow, especially those doing the challenge with their kids. Let's support and encourage each other.