Having a little one doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the great outdoors. I have outlined some great short hikes in the New England area that offer a great experience for those with infants or very small children. My wife and I were taking my son out hiking after he was able to hold his head up which was sometime in the three to five month range. My wife took on the challenge of toting my son in the front carrier until he was about eight months old. After this period, we began hiking with an Osprey Poco Plus child carrier. All of these hikes have a great deal of technical information located on the internet so I am not going to go into serious depth describing them in detail.
Pack Monadnock – Temple, NH. 1.5 hours from Boston. About one and a half miles to the summit from the base of Miller State Park. A nice moderate hike, probably a bit more on the strenuous side. An incredible view from the fire tower though. One can see the mountains in Vermont and the southern Whites from the top. Great view of Mt. Monadnock standing prominently to the west. Stay off the yellow Wapack trail from Miller State Park to the southern Pack Monadnock with the child carrier though as it is a bit steep and rocky. Use the Marion Davis Trail instead. Another interesting option would be to drive to the top and then hike over to North Pack Monadnock via the Wapack Trail. Again, avoid the Cliff Trail over here. This is a bit longer of a route though.
West Rattlesnake – Holderness, NH. A little bit more than 2 hours from Boston. A great gradual climb with a fantastic view of Squam Lake and the mountains that surround Squam Lake and Winnepasauke. This was one of our son’s first hiking experiences when he was about three months of age.
The Great Blue Hill – Milton, MA. Seven miles from downtown Boston. Lots of people but a short climb (less than a mile) to the best view in the Boston area. Views west to Wachusset, the Boston skyline and over Boston Harbor. The Great Blue Hill area can be quite crowded at times. Buck Hill a bit further east is less crowded. I cannot believe I don’t have a photo of the Blue Hill, which is a good thing so I can make an excuse to go there for a photo session, hike and/or trail run.
Mt. Watatic – Ashburnham, MA. About an hour from Boston. Ascend and descend via the Wapack trail. This is a great hike for those using the child carrier with a very young child as it is a gradual climb without steeps or boulders to climb over. Fantastic view from both of the summit areas. Here is a panorama of the view from the summit in April.
Mt. Agassiz – Bethlehem, NH. About two and one half hours from Boston. An absolutely perfect place to hike. There is a semi-paved road that goes to the summit. We pushed a jog stroller up it but it would be better attempted with a child carrier. Fantastic view of Cannon Mountain and the Garfield Ridge from the top.