I think I might just love hiking! Especially when it turns into a girls day!
Last weekend our church’s women’s group sponsored a family day at Hanging Rock State Park. It wound up being mostly a girls day for me because my hubby, oldest daughter, and my son had to work. So it was just my youngest, Emily, my sister and me and Emily’s friend Zack, who went with us to see the waterfalls. We had so much fun! I now have a new motto after this day trip, “But did you die?”. Keep reading and you’ll find out why that new motto fits.
I had jokingly told my sister that I needed a boot camp day to help me get ready for the beach. I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there on my weight loss journey. More on that in another post. This is the second hiking trip we’ve taken this year. By far, my favorite. This park has incredible views, gorgeous waterfalls, a beach with a lake to swim in, and tons of hiking trails and more. We came for the waterfalls and they did not disappoint.
We combined three trails together to see most of the waterfalls. They were all moderate trails and I think the map lied. I was dying after, but it was so worth it to see the waterfalls. They were spectacular! Emily took the best pictures. We saw so many families and little kids and dogs. Tons of dogs! I figured if they could do it then so could I. We laughed and talked and climbed and just had so much fun.
Each family brought their own picnic lunch. I had so much fun making our lunch. For tips on packing a perfect picnic, check out my post. It was a simple lunch, but I knew we would need lots of protein to keep us going. I made homemade chicken salad, pudding cups with Cool Whip and brought baked chips and lots of water. After lunch, it was time for one last hike.
We decided to go see the hanging rock last. I’m not sure why we waited until last, it’s 1.3 miles, which doesn’t sound like much, but when it’s the end of the day and you’ve already hiked several miles and it’s mostly uphill, you feel like you’re dying. At least Emily and I felt like we were dying. I did say that I needed a boot camp! It probably didn’t help that at the beginning of the trail there was a sign that said you could DIE on it! Seriously!!! We only made it halfway and because of time and hiker’s burn, we had to turn around.
We had a great time! But dear Lord, did we hurt afterward. Not my sister because she is Superwoman, seriously. My knees and hips were literally on fire and so were Emily’s. I even woke up at 2 am with them on fire wanting to cry. Stretching helped tremendously, along with ice. I just kept asking myself, “But did you die?”. Nope, I didn’t die! It was fun and worth it. I will do it again. All 7.5 miles of hiking again. Yes, we hiked 7.5 miles in total. My Fitbit went crazy with fireworks! And now I want to buy a backpack and hiking shoes and just hike. It is an adventure!
I completely recommend going to this park. Take your family, take your homeschool group, take your friends. It’s gorgeous. The trails are great and they keep them very clear. I definitely want to go back with my whole family. There’s so much to do, I can’t wait to go back! Do you hike? Do you have tips for a beginner hiker?