Most of the places we go to we just find online. There are so many state parks and Trustees of Reservations sites to check out. We try to check out at least 3 or 4 new places every year. Recently we traveled to CT to try the Sleeping Giant State Park. I do have to admit that we didn't really see the sleeping giant outline driving up but apparently we were walking on him. It's free to visit and there are picnic tables and bathrooms right by the parking lot. Anyone who travels with kids knows how important it is to know where the closest bathroom is. It is right across from a college. I have to say that all of the college kids that we saw on the path were very respectful of the fact that we had a younger child with us and had very considerate language and actions.
There are a few areas of large, fairly easy to navigate, stairs going up to the path. I'm pretty sure there was the option of path or stairs. At 5 years old, Mr. No had no issues getting up or down them.
The main path is wide and is an easy climb for pretty much any one. There were even a few strollers on the path. There are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way or stop for a little hydration. Mr. No was thrilled that he could stop wherever and sit as needed. We definitely packed waters and snacks in my backpack.
One of Mr. No's favorite parts of the path were the numbers on the rocks. Whenever his lazy bug started biting, all we had to say was I guess we won't get to find the next number and that bug just flew away and was forgotten.
The scenery was gorgeous, of course. I find even the most simple forest gorgeous, though. We all loved the rocks and boulders everywhere.
Mr. No ran along the path, climbed rocks, tried to carry large rocks with him to take home and found the last remaining pile of snow to jump in. At one point he was making a big show of trying to pick up huge boulder that had both us and passersby laughing at his antics. Then he found a smaller, but still to large to carry, rock and insisted on trying to carry it uphill. Yeah, that lasted about 5 minutes before he tried to pawn it off on us and we made him put it down. He had an absolutely amazing time.
At the top of the path is a stone observation tower. You can go inside and climb to the top. There was also another potty up there if I remember correctly. The view from the top was amazing! Gorgeous in every direction. Mr. No had a blast climbing all over the tower.
The hike back down is never as fun as the hike up. He wanted to be carried, of course, and each of us gave in for a brief amount of time. I had him on my back for a while until I accidentally stepped in a little dip in the road and literally toppled over with him still on me...in front of a group of college kids...and a couple with their child. And my mother wonders why I didn't pursue dance beyond that first year. Ever graceful...
Sleeping Giant State Park is absolutely a place we'll go again. Probably bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. And if we go when the insects are out, Mr. No will be in heaven!