Written by Jennifer Haler
November 29, 2013
As a family we love to hike. We never go out shopping on Black Friday, instead we turn it into Green Friday and find a way to get out into nature. This is pretty nice. Most people are indoors which means we, for the most part, have the trails to ourselves.
Since one of my kiddos and I are still recovering from strep throat we decided to do a fairly easy, mostly level trail. This way neither of us would become too exhausted.
We decided on English Point. English point is off of Lancaster Road in Hayden Idaho. It is a trail that is used by hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders. Some of these trails can be used for all three and others are designated for hikers only.
From Lancaster you turn onto English Point Road. The trails are on both sides of the road, however parking is only on one side. There are two trails to take on the side with parking. A .8 mile route and a 1.6 mile route. The other side has a .8, 1.8, and 3.4 mile route. This makes it a nice place to go. For the most part it is fairly level and there are a variety of trails to choose. Also, there are views of Hayden Lake from various spots within trails. And big bonus, as anyone who reads these knows, there are restrooms. There are two single room outhouses. For the most part these have toilet paper and are clean, but they do get used quite often and I have seen them dirty before. But really, it is difficult to keep public outhouses clean.
We decided to stay on the side with parking and chose to do the 1.6 mile trail. We felt that would be a nice easy way to work back into the hiking we do after being so ill.
It was absolutely beautiful. The snow had started falling, our footprints were the first to break through. Right at the beginning of the trail my husband found our first obstacle. He was nice enough to find the first patch of ice by stepping on it and then sitting on it. He had not planned on the sitting part but it was fun to watch. Once he got back up and out of the way the kids skated across the ice and we continued on.
The next obstacle was finding out that my son and husband were cold. Because despite the fact I had told everyone before we left that it was cold and snowing and to dress accordingly, they did not. So, after talking with my son about what to do next time and laughing at my husband because he specifically chose not to bring a hat we decided that everyone would be fine as long as we kept moving to keep warm. After all, it was a short hike. The girls and I were fine by the way; we had dressed appropriately.
Hiking in the snow is such a serene experience. We heard a few animals and saw a couple of people but for the most part it was quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. We stopped at a small deck they have to view the lake and played there for a bit then trekked on.
I had a blast watching the kids slide on the ice, knock snow off the trees, watch for wildlife, and play.
English Point is a great place to go.
By the end sick kiddo and I were a bit tired. But man, it was a good kind of tired. Getting my muscles back into the activities I love to do instead of napping all the time. We were chilled but good and we got to have a wonderful family outing in a beautiful setting while most others were in stores.
Prairie Home Farm
Written by Jennifer Haler
We take the kids to a pumpkin patch every year and this year we decided to try a new one. It can be so much fun watching the kids pick out their own pumpkins so we loaded up the kids and headed out to Hayden where the Prairie Home Farm is located. It was very easy to find and easy to park at.
Walking in is a short distance and the farm is decorated with antique farming equipment. This gives some nice photo opportunities and lends a charming feel to the farm. We stopped at the entrance and paid $2/person for access to the farm. We also purchased a bag of feed for the animals. This was one of the big reasons we chose to go to this farm. We love animals and any opportunity my kids get to feed and be around something that they aren’t around often is jumped at. The feed bags were large plastic bags filled with smaller bags labeled for the animal the food went to. There was feed for ducks, chickens, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, cats, dogs, etc.
Two things made me instantly give this farm thumbs up. One; we were told right away to recycle the plastic bags. They get reused and there were several spots around the farm where you could drop them off. I am a huge environmentalist so this made me happy as recycling still seems to be a new practice in this area. Second; there were signs everywhere and we were verbally told to be careful while feeding the animals as they have teeth. Every single animal on that farm was well-behaved but it is easy for animals to get excited for food and if you are not holding things or dropping things the correct way a n accident could happen.
We paid for our stuff, grabbed an old Radio Flyer wagon and headed off to the pumpkin patch. The farm is set up in a loop so you end up back at the pay station when you are done. We started off taking some photos of the kids near the old farm decorations and then got to meet the horses. Oh, my gosh! I miss riding horses. Being able to pet them and smell that horse smell was wonderful. (I realize not everyone will understand the concept of enjoying the earthiness of horse, but I love it). The horses knew what to expect and came right up to the fence looking for the goodies. One of the goats came running up as well. We fed and snuggled the animals for a bit and then moved on.
The pumpkin patch was next. This was smaller than many we have been to but was nice. This would be a wonderful one if you have any toddlers with those little legs.
After the kids picked out their perfect pumpkins, we took a couple of photos in the small corn stalk area and then continued on the loop.
The remainder of the walk was feeding the rest animals that were interested in eating. All of the animals were friendly; some were full and others were anxious for food. The pigs were huge and lots of fun to see.
The kids all got a turn on a tree swing and then we took a glance in the barn. It was set up for storytelling hour. There is a designated time for this and we were not there for it, but it looked like fun with hay bales set up as seats.
After that we were ready to head out. On the way we stopped and purchased some homemade treats in support of the Girl Scouts, we paid for our pumpkins, returned the radio flyer and headed on home. The price for the pumpkins was very comparable to what would be paid in the grocery stores.
Overall, we had a great time on the farm. Usually, we go to farms further away and it was enjoyable to have one so close. We loved the animals, everyone there was very nice and we got to pick out some great pumpkins. Now all we need to do is carve them.
I love spending time with my family doing all the wonderful activities in the Inland Northwest.