When my daughter was born, it was clear right away she loved being outdoors, especially on our family adventures on the Ice Age Trail. As her trips on the trail moved from her infant carrier to her own two feet, my viewpoint of hiking changed from focusing on quantity to quality. When I carried her, it was all about getting in every mile I could. When she was trailblazing at a toddler pace, I realized the real joy came from the discovery.
These toddler treks brought about the creation of the Tyke Hike program. On Thursday, July 24th, 2014, nineteen hikers enjoyed a nerve wracking but exciting inaugural Tyke Hike at Lapham Peak. On Saturday, April 23rd, at that same location, Tyke Hike broke its' own record and had an amazing 103 signed in hikers out and about on Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail. Add in nearly 75 at a second special hike later that afternoon and nearly 200 friends of all ages came out to enjoy an absolutely gorgeous spring day.
With our focus being general information about the Ice Age and the trail in general, we dug into topics such as the evolving mileage of the trail, the reason for the trail being called the Ice Age Trail, and of course, landforms and glaciers. Going back to my 4th grade teaching roots, I offered up these concepts in a quiz format and the hikers aced them each time.
Mojo, our Tyke Hike mammoth mini-mascot, was loved by many children on our 1.5 mile trek through rocky and rooty Lapham Peak. When we scaled the 120+ steps back to the tower, Diane, our new librarian friend from the Delafield Public Library, shared Lisa Wheeler's wonderful picture book, Mammoths on the Move, with some of the tykes.
In just two short years, the Tyke Hike program has taken amazing steps forward in providing opportunities for families to enjoy this tremendous trail. I can't wait to see what the next two years bring!
Keep Hiking Forward!
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