I’ve mentioned this before, but we’ve really been making an effort to get outside and stay active through these long, cold winter months. It’s tough sometimes, especially when all I want to do is cozy up inside under a blanket and there’s white stuff coming down out of the sky.
Inevitably, once we give ourselves that push to get out the door, the time we spend outdoors end up being better and more memorable than any indoor winter activities.
In our quest to get outside and make the most of the cold weather, we’ve been taking advantage of several local trails in our area. They’re perfect for an afternoon outing, are FREE and they’re pretty much in our backyard.
Last year at this time, I didn’t know that most of them existed.
So quick question – you have a free afternoon with your family and you want to plan a cheap, easy and fun outing. How many of you think first of that walking trail that’s only half an hour away?
It never used to cross my mind that something so simple could be so satisfying and enjoyable. Sometimes we get caught up in trying to plan these big, elaborate day trips that cost too much and leave us all exhausted at the end of the day. Sometimes, maybe the best trip is the one that’s the simplest to plan and in the easiest place to get to.
Some of our best days out as a family end up being the ones with the least amount of planning and effort.
This past weekend we visited the Oxford Thames River Trail (or the Beachville trail) and it was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours. There’s about 5km of trail with loops and sections that take you close to the river. Perfect for kids – there was so much for the boys to explore, including the ruins of an old factory. J came home with quite the collection of items.
Both boys (ok, and mom and dad) are eager to get back with their bikes in the warmer weather. Most of the trail is quite wide, so perfect for J to start since he’s only been on two wheels since the late summer.
Exploring these trails and others has really been an enjoyable way to spend time with family, be active and get outdoors. It’s something we need to make the effort to continue doing, and do more often. It’s a change of mindset – next time you want to get out but don’t know what to do, keep it simple and find a nearby trail to get out and explore. I guarantee there’s one close to home, maybe one you’d never even considered before. We need to start making simple outdoor adventures our first choice more often, instead of letting it be our forgotten choice.
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