Here it is: the very last installment of trail notes for my first 52 Hike Challenge. The first three hikes of the final set were on new trails, but I felt compelled to return to the place where Luke and I kicked off our challenge for the final hike.

It has been a memorable journey for me! Stay tuned for my conclusion post about the lessons I learned along the way and a collage of my favorite hikes.

Read on for my trail notes from the last 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 52/52: Calhan Paint Mines Trail

Calhan Paint Mines Trail in Calhan, CO • twokidsintow.com
Calhan Paint Mines Trail in Calhan, CO • twokidsintow.com
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: 1.83 miles
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Elevation Gained: 109 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Monday, May 23, 2016

Trail Notes

Hike 52. We drove out to Calhan as a family for a sunset hike on the same trail Luke and I kicked off our 52 Hike Challenge 33 weeks ago.

It was just Luke and I on that first hike. At that point in time, I was still able to carry him on my back for hours and hours. Today, I watched my big, strong boy run ahead of me on that trail, independent and delightfully stubborn. He logs each mile we hike on his own two feet now, and has since the beginning of this year.

I was nearing the halfway point of my pregnancy with Jack on that first hike. Today, I watched my growing baby boy drift in and out of sleep on his daddy’s chest as we wandered along the trail as the sun set.

We all know that time waits for no one. This challenge motivated me to get out and hike like hell and not wait for my kids to be older and less dependent on me. Today is the only day we have any control over… might as well make it count!

Hike 51/52: Peakview Trail

Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, CO • twokidsintow.com
Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, CO • twokidsintow.com
Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, CO • twokidsintow.com

Farish Recreation Area | Woodland Park, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Peakview Trail
Distance Traveled: 2.15 miles
Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
Elevation Gained: 146 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trail Notes

This hike will likely go down as one of my favorites of this challenge. We’d just set up camp at Farish Recreation Area (stay tuned for that blog post!) and wanted to stretch our legs a bit before cooking dinner. I skimmed over the trail map and decided to give the Peakview Trail a try, hoping that the trail would live up to its name. The view from the clearing at the top did not disappoint!

I’m used to seeing Pikes Peak on a day to day basis from Colorado Springs, and while it is a very commanding mountain from the city, nothing quite compares to seeing it rise from the wilderness.

Hike 50/52: Meadowlark and Plymouth Creek Trails

Deer Creek Canyon Park in Littleton, CO • twokidsintow.com
Deer Creek Canyon Park in Littleton, CO • twokidsintow.com
Deer Creek Canyon Park in Littleton, CO • twokidsintow.com

Deer Creek Canyon Park | Littleton, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Meadowlark and Plymouth Creek Trails
Distance Traveled: 1.90 miles
Time: 2 hours 39 minutes
Elevation Gained: 232 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Friday, May 20, 2016

Trail Notes

The boys and I drove to Littleton to hike with our friends Lynzy and Eli and meet some other new trail buddies. We had a great time exploring a brand new area, making new friends, and splashing in a giant puddle of mud. (Seriously, who can resist a huge puddle of sticky mud?!)

We’re looking forward to more hikes with this group in the future!

Hike 49/52: Hogback Valley and Lower Hogback Trails

Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com
Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO • twokidsintow.com

Red Rock Canyon Open Space | Colorado Springs, Colorado

Stats

Hike/Trail Name: Hogback Valley and Lower Hogback Trails
Distance Traveled: 3.44 miles
Time: 2 hours 32 minutes
Elevation Gained: 426 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Date Completed: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trail Notes

My favorite text conversations go like this: “Wanna hike?” “Of course!”

We met some of our favorite trail buddies for a new trail at Red Rock Canyon. We hiked up the Hogback Valley Trail, ate lunch under a shady tree, then hiked back down to catch the Lower Hogback to the water. Apparently a few minutes of splashing is well worth nearly three and a half miles of hiking!

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.