When our family hit the road this past summer for a two-month camping road trip of the western U.S. national parks, I realized I had the perfect trip-planning tool at my fingertips – the community of Hike it Baby families.
Don’t get me wrong, I still spent hours reading travel blogs, flipping through glossy travel magazines and just generally daydreaming about cool, clear lakes and snow-covered peaks; but when it comes to getting outside with kids, there’s no better resource than our own Hike it Baby families.
After our Utah hike, the kids told us it was a great morning because it was their four favorite things: hunting for dinosaurs, watching peregrine falcons, climbing boulders and “making new friends.”
You already know your Hike it Baby membership connects you with an amazing group of families in your area, but did you know it also makes you part of a global network of families? These families know their local trails, hidden places and community events like no one else. And, they are eager and excited to share their local expertise and hometown with you. It’s easy to connect with Hike it Baby families when life takes you on the road, whether just around the corner or halfway around the world.
Here are some ideas for connecting with other Hike it Baby families when traveling.
1. Connect with Hike it Baby branches on Facebook
Do you have a question about whether the Avalanche Trail in Glacier National Park is child-friendly? Or how early you have to arrive to get a first come, first served campsite in Yellowstone? Hike it Baby members know the answers to these questions — and a lot more. You can request to join any Hike it Baby branch’s Facebook Group (find a group here) and once added, you can post your questions or ask for recommendations directly from families in that area.
Hike it Baby Southern Utah Branch Ambassador Kayce recommended this great hike in Cedar Breaks National Monument where our Texas kids could finally have a snowball fight . . . in June.
Not on Facebook? No problem. You can also reach out to branch ambassadors by email through the Contact page on the Hike it Baby website.
2. Search for hikes on the Hike it Baby website
You can see where local Hike it Baby branches adventure by accessing the calendars of more than 300 branches on the Hike it Baby website. Just click on Find Your City for a listing of branches by country and state/province or visit Find a Hike to search the entire calendar.
If you’re traveling to an area you don’t know well, try one of my favorite features – the map function. Click on Pick a Location from the Find a Hike page for an interactive map to select a location without a ZIP code or town name. This curated list of hikes and other places to explore is my go-to during our annual summer trips to visit the grandparents in southern California. We always get ideas about new nature spaces to visit with details on everything you need to know – trail conditions, parking, availability of restrooms and water and cell phone coverage.
Exploring Upper Newport Bay with HiB Orange County (Photo courtesy of Monique Rico).
3. Join a Hike it Baby branch out on the trail
What’s the only thing better than members’ local knowledge? Hike it Baby members themselves! The best way to connect with local families is to get out on the trails together.
On our travels this past summer, we hiked the nature trail in Upper Newport Bay with Hike it Baby Orange County. We also spent a morning with the Southern Utah branch and visited the Dinosaur Tracks near Parowan Gap, Utah. These are both unique local spots we might not have come across on our own. Not only did these groups introduce us to cool places, they opened their groups up to us in the most welcoming ways.
So next time you travel with your family, remember you’re always welcome to join local Hike it Baby branches out on the trail, in the park, on the beach or wherever their adventures take them.
Have you joined a Hike it Baby Branch while traveling?
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Jennifer and her husband, Kelly, chase after their three delightfully wild children in Austin, Texas. When not out exploring with HiB Austin, Jennifer is the Program Director for Families in Nature and hosts Nature Playdate, a twice-monthly nature playgroup for kids ages 3 – 5 and their grown-ups. You can see more of their family’s summer travels and Austin adventures on Instagram.