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Hello all! Vote Family Trail Time: A Mama’s Guide to Hiking for “Best Local Blogger” by clicking the linking and voting here!

I don’t receive any financial incentives, gear, or anything else for doing this blog – I sincerely do it for the love of hiking and to help other families get outdoors!

Voting closes 7/2! Spread the word & thanks!



Caswell Memorial State Park Hike


Why we love it: There’s lots of shade and it’s super easy to just go whichever way your wandering takes you at Caswell Memorial State Park! Decent trail markers and with the park’s small size, not overwhelming for new hikers or those with little kids. There’s even a trail that’s wheelchair accessible (1/4 mi.)!


Two mamas taking it easy.

For the Young Ones (0-10): The trails are not difficult at all and lots of trail areas are clear enough to let the kids run ahead.


For the Big Kids (10+): If the big kids want to take off on their own, there are plenty of trails that are close but not too close, if you want to just make sure everyone meets back up where you started. (Note: make sure everyone has a trail map!)

Keep in Mind: Bring insect repellent! Some park delicato-tasting-2016employees were nice enough to let us use some of theirs, but I still wish I’d thought to throw mine in my backpack instead of leaving it in the car. Being along the Stanislaus River,  there was lots of standing water we went = lots of mosquitos! Also, all state parks have an entry fee (unless you purchase/have a state parks pass).

Around the Area: If your kids are well behaved (and, I mean it, because there are breakables), you can stop for a free wine tasting (and goldfish crackers!) at the Delicato Wine Tasting Room!

Difficulty Level: Beginner.

More posts coming soon!

I don’t know about your family, but once October hits, it may as well be December 31st! The final quarter of the year just flys by. In addition, I’ve needed a new computer for a long time and was delighted to have one waiting for me under the Christmas tree!

While we haven’t hiked as much as we like to, there have been a few hikes I need to post, as well as a couple of guests posts from contributors. With a few days off from my full-time job between now and 2017, I hope to catch up with Family Trail Time! I am pretty good at posting regularly to Instagram, so you can see hikes and other family activities there, in real time.

May you all have a wonderful close to 2016 and many hikes ahead!

Looking for Sacramento Area Contributors!

Dearest Family Trail Time community, I am seeking contributors to regularly submit hikes to support this resource for family hikers in the Sacramento area.

While our family will continue to hike and share those hikes, we have an uncertain future ahead. Our younger son, Grayson, has been diagnosed with Tay Sachs ( Please consider liking and sharing our Facebook page, Team Grayson Kemp, as we hope to find a cure for this terrible disease.

Thanks and love to you all.

Cosumnes River Preserve: Wetlands Walk & River Walk Hikes


Just about fifteen minutes south of Elk Grove on I-5, Cosumnes River Preserve is an ideal hiking and nature introduction for your family. It contains over 50,000 acres of wildlife habitat and agricultural lands! This blog post focuses on just the Wetlands Walk and River Walk.

DSC_2808Why we love it: This is hiking right in our own backyard! Many of the hikes we usually take require travel of at least an hour. Living close to I-5 in Sacramento or Elk Grove, it takes no time to get Cosumnes River Preserve. The walks are laid back and simple, without being too simple but also not being too much of a challenge. We’re not avid bird watchers, but we were super excited to see many different kinds of birds.

For the Young Ones (ages 0-10): The paved path of the Wetlands Walk is great for those on wheels (stroller, wheelchair, etc.). It’s also a relatively short hike, so we enjoyed letting our 4 year-old take his time watching bugs or listening for animals. It also allowed him a bit of freedom to run around, since it’s a flat path (other than the initial bridge). This path crosses the main road, so be sure not to let kiddos get too far ahead. The River Walk allowed us to get further immersed in nature and our little guy was able to observe interesting plants (“Those trees look like they have white cotton candy all over them!”), birds, and discover the train tracks bridge.

For the Big Kids (age 10+): The River Walk may qualify as more of a “real” hike to DSC_2796adventurers looking for more than a paved path, as it winds its way along raised levees through a variety of habitats, including buttonbush thickets, native grasslands, Valley Oak riparian forest, cottonwood-willow riparian forest, and tule marsh. There are also several different trail options to shorten or lengthen your hike. Big kids may be intrigued by the nearby train tracks on both the Wetlands Walk and the River Walk. This might be a good time to teach about how powerful trains are and how important it is to take precautions around train tracks. Also, Cosumnes River Preserve features a dock for you to launch your canoe or kayak from, which families with older kids may be interested in taking advantage of.

DSC_2800Keep In Mind:

  • There are some pretty exposed parts of these hikes, so always make sure to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen.
  • The Wetlands Walk crosses over the main road, so be sure not let little ones run too far ahead.
  • The Welcome Center’s hours are posted online as open Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm., but on the Sunday we went it was not open. The walks are still available even if the center is closed.

Difficulty Level: Beginner. Wetlands Walk is wheelchair accessible.