Keystone is full of fun things to do outdoors in the summertime. Downhill mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting and more. But, what about those of us stuck with the babies, toddlers and small kids who are not quite ready to do those more advanced and adventurous activities? Sometimes you don’t want to be hassled to buy candy or gifts as you take a walk through River Run and you just want to be out in nature. There is a great packed dirt nature trail just within reach of River Run that satisfies the need to get your kids into nature quickly.
Simply head toward the ski slopes! Cross over the skier bridge and head uphill to the left side of the ski slopes as you are facing the mountain. Go under the Summit Express ski lift and there is a trail through some tall spruce trees right near a hidden maintenance shed. The trail leads downward to some beaver ponds where you can fish or watch birds. The trail eventually leads into Keystone’s newest neighborhood, The Alders. Take your time and look for Columbine flowers, interesting rocks and keep your eyes open for fish, birds and other creatures along the way. The trail is quiet and very well marked.
Having fun playing with ‘Old Man’s Beard’ moss on a recent family hike in Keystone
Take the time to slow your kids down, have them search for things and stop and play. Kids will take the time if you do and embrace the small things and enjoy the natural setting. Make a simple hike into a scavenger hunt adventure. You can look for “Old Mans Beard” which is the green moss that grows on logs and trees. You can have the kids build small houses or even a village out of pine cones and 2″ sticks. Have them point out and identify animal footprints and various Colorado wildflowers. Draw a quick sketch or picture of the flowers and look them up in a guidebook later. If you are lucky, you might even see a moose in the wetlands!
Take advantage of your family time together and get out on a fun hike the next time you are visiting Keystone! Your kids will love being out in nature and having fun discovering and exploring the great outdoors!