We all know Upstate South Carolina as a good place to hike in the winter. The views are great, the waterfalls are plentiful, and spring flowers come early.
Scott Lynch has managed to distill 20 hikes for families in his new book Family Hikes in Upstate South Carolina (Milestone Press, $14.95 list price). All the hikes are less than four miles length. But hikes with children (and that’s what family hikes are) need more than just easy hikes. They need a hook, a reason for hiking. It reminds me of a joke:
A child was promised that he was going to be taken hiking this weekend. He knew that his parents loved hiking and now he was big enough to go hiking too. So they bought him a pack, a small water bottle, a couple of snacks and off they went. The trail in the woods was enclosed by trees and the family walked. After a little while, the boy asked “All we’re doing is walking. When are we going to start hiking?”
Kids won’t be asking this when they go on the Hagood Mill Nature Trail (pg. 50). This 0.75 mile trail around the Pickens County Museum has a covered bridge and an old mill. Not bad for less than a mile.
I turned to a familiar hike (pg. 100) in Cowpens National Battlefield. My visit to Cowpens was all about the history of the Revolutionary Battle. But of course, National Park Units are perfect for short hikes and full of exciting history. [The British came from this way, the Patriots from the other way…]
The book has plenty of information to help parents choose a hike – maps of the hike and trailhead, GPS coordinates of the trailhead, mileage and difficulty and highlights of the hike and several black and white pictures for each hike. This light paperback can be stuffed in your pack or back pocket. This will be perfect for choosing hikes with my younger granddaughter
Now all I need is another book with longer hikes. My older granddaughter is growing up!
Family Hikes in Upstate South Carolina is available from Milestone Press, wherever good books are sold, and of course, from Amazon.