Story by

Gisselle Villalpando

February 6th, 2018

My fiancé and I love the outdoors. Hiking is something we enjoy doing as a family, and getting our children out into nature is our weekly goal. We want them to learn to love nature.

We enjoy visiting our local nature centers to learn about what is native to our area. When hiking, our girls are always so curious about everything they see or hear on the trails.

They love playing in the streams, finding pretty rocks, climbing boulders, and balancing on fallen trees. It is an amazing feeling watching our kids' imaginations run wild when surrounded by nature.

We visited one of our local trails, Potato Mountain, with hopes that our four-year-old daughter would be able to complete the hike without being carried for the first time. The Potato Mountain trail is pretty steep all the way up.

At the beginning of the trail, we heard a stream. A little ways up the sound of vehicles disappeared, and all we could hear were birds singing. We always take a moment to stop and just listen.

We knew we would need to take lots of breaks along the way, always letting my daughter set the pace, while encouraging and motivating her to keep going. She is thrilled by her own accomplishments.

We couldn't have been prouder than when she made it to the top without asking to be carried. She even wanted to run on parts of the trail. We will always cherish these milestones.