Now that the weather is cooler, we've started up our weekly hikes with friends. Luckily, we live in an area that is full of great places to hike with little ones. This week we explored the Franklin Falls Dam area.
We parked by the ranger station, which is past the first parking lot and through the gate. Across from the ranger station is a good sized playground with many picnic tables and bathrooms!
Originally my thought was to hike the Piney Point Trail. However, after talking to the rangers I decided to save this for another day. We had a large group hiking with many new children ( many 2 -3 years old) and I didn't want to tackle more then we could handle. The Piney Point Trail is just about 2 miles long and has a steep decline ( which you need to make back up at the end!!) before it levels off.
We decided to venture down the Coleman Road - a wide logging road to the start of the Whaleback Trail. The Whaleback Trail was a fabulous trail for the little ones. It meandered through the woods, was level and free of trail obstacles ( ie. rocks, roots, etc.).
It did have some large rock outcroppings that the little ones loved stopping at for a snack and then using it as a natural slide.
Once at the end we returned, via Coleman Road back to the playground area for lunch and some more play time!
The Park Rangers had also suggested Sniper Trail as a good suggestion for our little ones. It has a bit more of an elevation ( read some uphills and downhills). We really enjoyed this area and it proved to be a fun morning out for us, so we may have to give Sniper Trail a try next time.
Of course, before you leave the area, be sure to drive past the Ranger Station and over the dam. My two loved that. There are even picnic tables on the other side of the dam.