November is a great month for hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and it is easier than you think. There are many helpful blogs on getting your kids to love hiking. According to Kids in Parks Director Jason Urroz, “Research shows that people have become increasingly disengaged from nature, spending less time in our parks and outdoor places, while spending more time “plugged-in” to electronic media. On average kids spend 7.65 hours per day “plugged-in” and only an average of 7 minutes per day in unstructured outdoor play.
To get you ‘informed’ and your kids ‘inspired’ check out Go Blue Ridge Travel’s 6 Ways to Get Your Kids Excited about Hiking. Then take off for Shenandoah National Park (SNP) in Luray, Virginia. This past weekend SNP dedicated TRACK Trails Activity Trail.
Jim Northup, Superintendent of Shenandoah National Park said, “With over 500 miles of trails, Shenandoah offers outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities. As a partially accessible trail, Limberlost is a great place for visitors to both experience the park and participate in the TRACK Trails program. Children who complete the new ‘Senses and Sensitivity’ activity guide can also use it in support of their Shenandoah Junior Ranger Program requirements. It’s a great way to have fun outside and learn at the same time.”
The Kids in Parks program grew out of a vision to address these trends by getting kids “unplugged” and physically active in parks for their health and the health of our parks.” Kids in Parks is an expanding network of family-friendly outdoor adventures called TRACK Trails. Each TRACK Trail features self-guided brochures and signs that turn your visit into a fun and exciting outdoors experience. Visitors are reminded that there is a $15-per-car entrance fee to Shenandoah National Park which is good for seven days.
“I am thrilled to see this trail open up and connect with Kids in Parks! This is definitely a must do on Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail Bucket List of experiences for every child before they turn 18!” said Nancy Craun. “You can make this a wonderful weekend trip by staying at the Mimslyn Inn or Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park.“