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Sunday morning was cloudy and threatening rain, however, we all decided that we wanted to go on a short hike regardless. We find that as spirited parents of a spirited son, getting outside and moving is the best way of averting meltdowns, misbehaviour and the grumps (for the adults as well as the child). Since the weather wasn’t great and we had plans for later in the day we didn’t want to head too far afield. Our first plan was to visit Brown-Lowery Provincial Park south-west of the city but as we headed out west, we could see that the area to the south was already dark and rainy. Plan B was formed – we headed slightly north to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park instead. As we pulled into the parking lot, the rain let loose. Not to be deterred, we donned our rain gear and headed out. 

We’ve often done the trail in the counter-clockwise direction, which starts at the picnic area and takes you past the springs and waterfalls before heading up to the birch grove. The trail is an easy 2.5 km route with about 20 m of elevation gain – perfect for a short family hike. We decided this time to take one of the small trails up the hill from the parking area towards the birch grove to do the route in the clockwise direction. This wasn’t the wisest move in light of all the rain we’d been getting as the trail was slick and muddy. After getting off trail (which we never recommend), we finally got onto the main trail. With the rain and our inadvertant traverse into the bush, M wanted to go downhill rather than uphill in the intended direction. Rather than fighting his decision, we played follow the leader with M in the lead – always a great way for kids to have fun on the trail. We ended up on one of the interesting side trails that took us past the springs into the picnic area.

Since the rain had let up, we grabbed snacks from the car and enjoyed them by the springs. The morning ended with much puddle jumping fun, that if we hadn’t been wet before, we’d surely be wet after. It was a great morning of adventure – proving that adventures don’t have to planned or long to be fun.

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