February 2018 Events

Independence Trail East
Independence Trail East

In February, the month of the love, I am loving the chance to get to go hiking with family, friends, and Family Trail Time followers! Check out these things coming up next month!

February 1st: Join Hike Like a Woman and me the first 10 days of the month for the free #healthyhiker challenge! This challenge is designed to help women all become better versions of ourselves!

February 3rd: Join me and my older son (age 7) for a family-friendly hike/walk in Elk Grove. Details can be found on Facebook here. No limit on the number of people who join us!

February 11th: Join me for a women only hike on the Independence Trail – East near Nevada City, CA. Details can be found on Facebook here. Limited to the first 20 women who register/email as instructed on the Facebook event.


FTT pic for Feb fam 2018
Along the Whitehouse Creek Trail, part of our family-friendly hike/walk in February.



Putah Creek Riparian Reserve


In the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, we hiked from the Old Davis Road parking lot to the Fire Ring Picnic Grounds. Going this route, the hike is just under 4 miles. You can extend it further by going past the picnic grounds to the Pedrick Road parking. To go this route, the creek should be on your left to start.

Why we love it: This is an easy hike just a few minutes off of the freeway in Davis. While it’s mostly level, there are a few inclines along the way. It’s more of a hike than just a nature walk (in comparison to something like Davis Arboretum), but the terrain was fine for the 2 year-old and 65+ year-old who hiked with us. I liked the “reward” of reaching the fire ring picnic grounds, with picnic tables to sit and eat snacks, fallen trees for kids to climb on, and a path down to the creek.

For the Young Ones (0-10): If you have a beginner hiker (or are one yourself), and have already done a few nature walks, this is a great trail to hit up next. While the 2 year-old with us eventually needed to be carried, you can do less of the trail to make your hike as short as you’d like. For the kids around ages 5-10, we had to make sure they kept on the trail in order to avoid the poison oak, but otherwise, it was great! They really enjoyed reaching the fire ring picnic area to snack, throw rocks in the creek, crawl over the trees, and play.IMG_2551

For the Big Kids (10+): Older kids may appreciate the graffiti as you head under the overpasses close to the beginning of the path. Once past this area, the trail is clear enough for older kids to be trusted to forge ahead, but I’d still recommend staying in a group/with others.

Keep in Mind: Officially, there are no bathroom facilities on the trail. However, we found a clean port-a-potty at two of the parking lots (including where we started, at the Old Davis Road parking). There is poison oak along the way, so everyone should be mindful. DO NOT CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CREEK – it’s private property.

Around the Area: We love Davis! On Saturday mornings, we always enjoy the farmer’s market. We did this hike on a Friday, so opted to have lunch at the Davis Café Bernardo, which is always delicious (and has clean bathrooms)!

Difficulty Level: Beginner.


Free Family Hike – TOMORROW!

TOMORROW – Friday, December 29th, 9AM – Free Family Hike: Join us for a family hike in nearby Davis, CA! The trail will be easy and kid-friendly. While it may be cold, so long as it’s not freezing or raining, we’ll be there!

We’ll explore part of the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve on our flat, <4 mile hike. Along the way we should see box elder, valley oak, arroyo and sandbar willow, California grape, California wild rose, Cottonwood, and whatever animals cross our path.

Park at the Old Davis Road Parking (directions: http://putahcreek.ucdavis.edu/about-the-reserve/directions.html) by 9AM. We’ll take a leisure walk/hike along the trail by the water out to the fire ring picnic grounds and back.

We’ve never done this trail, but based on my research, it should take us about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the pace of the kiddos. You can a more detailed map here: http://www.yolohiker.org/trails/maps/putah.pdf.

This trail does not appear to be handicap or stroller accessible, though it is flat. After this hike, I’ll share on the blog whether or not I think a stroller like a BOB could handle it.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT TRAINED TRAIL GUIDES. TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION YOU WOULD NORMALLY TAKE WHEN EXPLORING A NEW HIKING TRAIL (including protection from the elements, first aid, water and snacks, watching your children, etc.). BY JOINING US, YOU CONSENT THAT WE ASSUME NO LIABILITY. We’re just a family that enjoys hiking, and hope you do, too!

Countdown to the New Year!

365 Challenge

Like most people at the holidays, I plan to spend lots of quality time snuggled up with my family. My big boys and I plan to get out for a hike or two over the holidays, and when 2018 rings in I’m SO excited to take part in the 365 Mile Challenge!

The 365 Mile Challenge is a way to encourage each other to complete 365 self -propelled miles in 2018.

This includes any activity that gets your legs moving and your heart pumping. For example, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing count. (Ex: Running, hiking, and mountain biking count, but 4-wheeling or snowmobiling don’t.)

The challenge will run for all 52 weeks of 2018. Think about it – we can ALL fit in time to get moving just ONE mile per day!

For a $25 fee, you’ll get:

  • #365milechallenge sticker (shipped only to the U.S. or Canada)
  • Entry into a private, supportive and fun Facebook group just for 365 Mile Challenge participants.
  • Exclusive discounts on outdoor clothing and gear found only for members of the group.
  • Opportunity to enter prize package drawings for outdoor clothing, gear, and swag. (In 2017, the challenge gave away over $6,000 worth of gear from over a dozen sponsors!)
  • Motivation and support to get out there and conquer 365 miles.
  • Automatic entry into a mega big prize package just for 365-mile challenge finishers if you complete your 365 miles before midnight (MST) on December 31, 2018.


Your membership contribution will go to support this program. Think of it as a race entry fee, only it’s for a race that lasts all year long. Plus, cheaper than most race entry fees and you get to run/hike/bike/swim/ski at your own pace and on your own turf!

To learn more, go to: http://www.365milechallenge.org/

Registration is ONLY open from December 1-21st & January 1-15th. Use the code “JOINMEFOR365” for $5 off!

We hope you’ll join us in challenging ourselves in the new year! Once you join, let me know!

365 Challenge 2

Long time, no see!

Make a Wish hiking photo of boys

Family Trail Time is truly devoted to hitting the trails when and where we can, but since our son’s Make A Wish hiking trip through Oregon, it just hasn’t been possible for our family.

I intended to blog about the hikes we took in Oregon, but so much has happened I was never able to make the time. Now that it’s November I doubt I could write-up a helpful post on any of the hikes! Our family moved (locally), my husband and I have each travelled for work, I received a promotion, we wrapped up the #hikeforgrayson campaign for the Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation, we put on a NTSAD Raffle in Honor of Grayson Kemp, I’ve had some health things going on, our older son started 1st grade, and our younger son, Grayson, has grown more medically fragile.

Since my husband and I both work full-time, weekends and holidays are pretty much the only time we get a chance to hike. While our older son is always game, we need to have nursing coverage for Grayson in order to go on a hike without him. Unfortunately, I think his last hike on his Make A Wish trip will likely be his last hike.

On a positive note, even though the holidays are approaching, our life seems to be settling in. The only things still in boxes at our new house are mostly in the garage and we don’t have major plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas. While Grayson isn’t in great shape, we have solid nursing support on weekdays, I’m adjusting to my new role at work, and our older son is finding his groove in first grade.

There’s more good news, and I’m happy it is leading me back to more hiking, even if it’s not as our entire family, or sometimes just with other friends!HLAW gear guide pic

Hike Like A Woman – After being selected as a contributor, I’m incredibly honored that Hike Like A Woman selected me to be an Ambassador! While I’ve had a slow start due to everything else going on, I’m excited to have contributed to the 2017 Holiday Gear Guide, I’m part of the sponsorship team, I have an upcoming review on a Garage Grown Gear shirt, and have plans to contribute to some fun posts coming your way!

10k Women Trail Project  – I’m super excited to share that I’ve been selected to be a 10k Women Trail Project Trailblazer! As a Trailblazer, I will pick a trail to hike every month and invite another woman or girl on my hike. As I’ve done in the past, I plan to coordinate some women-only group hikes that our followers are welcome to join me on! To get more involved in the project, you can join the 10k Women Trail Project Facebook group!10k women trail project

Don’t forget to follow our Facebook page, Family Trail Time, for helpful hiking articles and trail news! We hope this holiday season brings you much happiness, and we hope that we can bring you some new posts on hikes for you and your family!

Cosumnes River Preserve: Wetlands Walk Hike (Revisited)


We last posted about this hike back in 2015, and not much seems to have changed at Cosumnes River Preserve – it’s still a great place for light hikes that are great for families! This time around we organized a hike (see Facebook event page), shared it on the Hike It Baby calendar, and invited anyone interested in coming along.

Why we love it: It is so simple! The Wetlands Walk itself (technically the “Lost Slough Wetlands Walk”) is described as a one-mile universally-accessible trail offering an up-close view of lush marshes, wetland plants, water-birds, insects, and amphibians. We also took advantage of the wooden boardwalk that meanders into the Lost Slough.

For the Young Ones (0-10): Over 250 species of bird, 40 species of fish, 230 varieties of plant, and untold numbers of reptiles and amphibians have been observed in the preserve! Right away, our six year-old spotted a rabbit and enjoyed watching hummingbirds feed on the deck of the Visitor Center. If you take your time, you can spot crawdads in the marshes!

For the Big Kids (10+): There are over 11 miles of trail within the 50,000+ acres of the preserve! Plenty of miles for big kids to explore.

Keep in Mind:

  • At least half of this trail is completely exposed. Sun protection is a must.
  • There are two points at which the trail crosses over the road that leads you to the preserve. Hold on tight to those little ones!

Around the Area: There are events open to the public at the preserve – check out their activities page for more information.

Difficulty Level: Beginner.


Exciting Updates

Make a Wish shirts

I’ve started feeling a bit guilty about the lack of hiking posts recently. To be honest, it’s hotter than Hades in Sacramento right now, we’re obviously very focused on the #hikeforgrayson campaign (thank you SO much to those of you getting out there in support!), and things are even busier than usual for our family.

Upcoming hike posts – Please consider joining us for a free beginner hike at Cosumnes River Preserve at 8AM on Sunday, July 16. Details can be found on the Family Trail Time Events page.

Make a Wish – While we won’t be posting many local hikes this month, we will be posting some from Oregon in late July! Grayson was granted a Make a Wish road trip to Oregon and the four of us will be doing some light hiking and spending time together in nature. We’re very thankful for this opportunity to create some lasting family memories. I’ll post the hikes we do in the typical format, so be on the lookout!

Hike Like a Woman Contributor – Not only has Hike Like a Woman supported the #hikeforgrayson campaign by doing a post on their blog, they’ve invited me to be a contributor! I’ll be writing some posts on traveling to hike, with special attention to doing so with a special needs kiddo.

Hike it Baby – June’s #hikeforgrayson kick-off hike was supported by Hike it Baby and placed on the site’s calendar, and they also put a #hikeforgrayson campaign post on their blog! In addition, Grayson’s “Lita” (grandmother) is hosting a #hikeforgrayson hike in Houston on July 29 and it’s up on the Hike it Baby calendar, too!

#hikeforgrayson campaign – We are very touched by the hikes going on around the world in honor of our Grayson. In just the first two weeks, we’ve seen hikes in Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, two in Germany, and all over the United States! Please see the Hike for Grayson tab and consider doing one – or many – this summer!

Our goals are to 1) raise awareness of Tay-Sachs, and 2) reach 1,000 donations to the Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation by Labor Day! Please also check out the Hike for Grayson pages for how to help and local promotions in support of the campaign.

Finally, watch Good Day Sacramento next Wednesday, July 12 and see the Kemps take reporter Dave ‘Deuce’ Mason on an early morning hike!

Phew! That’s it…for now. Thank you for being a part of Family Trail Time, and we hope to see you on the trails!