Review: Take a Hike with Your Children by Lynda Pianosi

Whether you’ve lived in the Canadian Rockies for years or you’re just visiting the area, if you’re playing in the mountains with toddlers and young children be sure to throw a copy of this book in your backpack.

Take a Hike™ with Your Children: from Tots to Tweens in the Canadian Rockies ($16 CAD), by Lynda Pianosi, features hikes of five kilometres or less in Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and Lake Louise. Pianosi wrote the book from experience, having used her own two sons as “critics and barometers” for the hikes she decided to include (they approve!).

Take a Hike With Your Children by Lynda PianosiIf you’re an avid hiker, there’s a chance that the options included in Pianosi’s book may escape your mind otherwise and that’s because, prior to having children, it’s unlikely you would have considered some of these 5-kilometre trails a ‘hike’ in the first place. Our worlds shrink somewhat when we have small children in tow, and we start to look at adventures differently. Knowing we’ll be walking more slowly, perhaps nursing along the way and tempting a toddler with treats, our approach to choosing our objectives changes. Considering that, Take a Hike With Your Children is a gift to parents looking for kid-friendly hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

What I Love About This Book:

  • All the hikes are five kilometres or less – many of them quite short. Next summer, my daughter will be able to hike more on her own, and I’m sure we’ll be referencing this book often!
  • Pianosi offers a “Plan B” for all hikes, taking into account the possible changes in weather or children’s moods. So if Johnston Canyon isn’t in the stars one day, grab an ice cream cone at Johnston Canyon Resort or head to one of the parks in the Town of Banff for some playtime.
  • Her custom icons are particularly helpful for planning, and indicate options that have everything from trails suitable for an all-terrain stroller, to bathrooms, picnic shelters and a mix of sun and shade.
  • She also provides icons that indicate ‘walking ability’ so that parents have a gauge of how appropriate a hike will be for their kids.
  • The book includes information about safety with wildlife, how to dress for the mountains and how to avoid erosion. Be sure to read these safety recommendations, especially if you are new to hiking in the mountain environment.
  • Pianosi provides directions to the trailheads right in the book – one less thing for parents to have to reference when they are wrangling children.

Don’t Miss

Hiking with Baby: 12 Items You’ll Need

7 Tips for Hiking with a Toddler

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

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