One of the changes our family made last year was to adopt a more active lifestyle. As part of that, we took up hiking. Hiking has been great for our family, it is an activity that everyone can enjoy together (even the family dog in most parks!) and requires only the most basic of equipment. Hiking is the perfect ‘get back to nature’ activity and our kids love spotting local wildlife and plants.
The trick to hiking is finding great trails. Thankfully, there are a lot of State and National Parks which offer trails and require only a small parking fee for entrance. Reed Bingham State Park has become one of our favorite sites. Reed Bingham is a 1613 acre park located in Adel Georgia. The park features many activities ranging from Camping and hiking to boating and birdwatching. Although we have camped there in the past, this summer we went for the trails. The park charges a daily parking fee of only five dollars and offers 7 miles worth of trails in interconnecting loops. The loops make it easy for families to choose a hiking distance suitable to their abilities and available time.
Since we hike with our 5 and 9-year-old the first few times we went our family chose to take some of the smaller .3 and .6 mile trails. By the end of summer, we had managed to explore almost all of them. In total there are seven trails at Reed Bingham. The trails cover a variety of South Georgia ecosystems, wildlife, and plants. Signs and lookouts points along the trail routes hinted at the various wildlife and plants that could be found and provided a great learning opportunity for children. All of the trails are very well maintained with wide footpaths and boardwalks over wet areas however I recommend bringing bug spray in the summer! Of all the trails Yearling Trail is the least maintained but, that said, it is still very easy to follow and offers a view worth going to see.
In the end, our trips to Reed Bingham have helped our family transition into an
active lifestyle in a fun and productive manner. No one complained about having to go and everyone came home tired but happy! For a cheap and productive family adventure, you can’t get much better than that.
For more information, You can visit: Reed Bingham at Georgia State Parks
Practical Tips for First Time Hikers
- Choose a reasonable distance. No one is going to have fun if they are tired and struggling halfway through!
- Bring plenty of water. Even on cool days, you will be surprised how thirsty you might get, this goes double if you’re bringing along the family dog!
- Bring Bug Spray. Mosquitos and ticks are evil.
- Wear good shoes. Your feet will thank you.
- Pay attention to the trail signs!