This past weekend my sister and I took her son hiking with us. We selected a destination that offered attractions to him. He is 3.5 years old and obsessed with numbers, interested in "mysteries," and loves any opportunity to throw rocks into water.
We started our two-part hike at Tinker Falls, near Tully, NY. The short trail into the falls follows a stream, which allowed us to pause for some rock throwing (and hippy-bug-dope application). While I regretted my lack of hat, at least the boy was well-equipped.
We climbed up and behind the falls, where we hung out and took pictures.
The boy enjoyed a snack of pretzels and red pepper slices. Eventually we climbed up above the falls and headed back down to the car. This trail was marked with painted blazes on regularly spaced trees, so the boy could search for "clues." His sharp little eyes lead us down the trail and back to the car.
We then drove a short ways up the road to Labrador Hollow Unique Area and started down the boardwalk.
The boy enjoys boardwalks, but he was over the moon when he spotted a number 1 sign. He didn't care that we didn't have the interpretive material that goes along with the signs; all he cared about was finding the next one. We hunted down all the numbers and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.
Our awesome little hike was topped off with milkshakes for them and ice cream for me, locally made by one of our old favorites from the farmer's market.