Getting families
closer to nature
one step at a time

"... a very valuable tool for all those, young and old, hoping to spend a pleasent day or two in a truly awesome setting."

— Elaine Tessolini, Physiotherapist

“Then I read Take a Hike with Your Children… and I realized hiking with my kids could be enjoyable.”

— Sarah Deveau, Calgary Herald


Getting families
closer to nature
one step at a time ™

Getting families
closer to nature
one step at a time ™

"... a very valuable tool for all those, young and old, hoping to spend a pleasent day or two in a truly awesome setting."

- Elaine Tessolini, Physiotherapist

“Then I read Take a Hike with Your Children… and I realized hiking with my kids could be enjoyable.”

-Sarah Deveau, Calgary Herald


Take a Hike with Your Children™

A guidebook for family hikes and walks in the Canadian Rockies

Welcome. I’m Lynda Pianosi—author, professional outdoor guide, cross country ski instructor, and mom. I’ve had the good fortune to live and raise my family in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, and know it's an incredible natural wonder and wilderness playground for all ages. But I also know experiencing that wonder can be a challenge for families.

Take a Hike with Your Children is a first-of-its-kind Rockies guidebook written especially for families, and from a child's perspective. Each hike and itinerary has been carefully researched and tested by unreserved critics—my kids, my husband, and over 10,000 readers. It's very easy-to-use, and packed with:

  • 46 Rockies hikes and walks in Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and Lake Louise—all a short drive from Calgary
  • Itineraries of 5 km (3.1 mi) or less, for a wide range of challenge and adventure for all ages
  • 1-2-3 Mountain Rating System™—difficulty level from a child’s perspective
  • Intuitive icons for services, amenities, sun/shade levels, stroller friendliness, etc.
  • How to get there and when to go
  • Plan Bs—attractions, playgrounds, etc.—for when your 3-year-old isn’t down with the program
  • Helpful advice and tips on safety, what to pack, seasonal variations, etc.
  • Colour inserts to motivate everyone to push-on a little further for that incredible waterfall

The impulse to write Take a Hike with Your Children was sparked years ago on a family hike—and a rare moment of marital meltdown come epiphany. Off we went, the four of us, on what an acclaimed guidebook described as an "easy" hike. Yippee! Except we soon found ourselves struggling with difficult terrain, blazing sun, and little to distract our increasingly restless children. Worst of all, there was no way out but back! A pleasant day in the mountains became an ordeal, and I cursed that guidebook the whole way, until my husband finally blurted out, “stop your complaining and write one yourself!” So I did.

Over the years, readers have also told me that Take a Hike with Your Children is ideal for anyone with mobility issues. That makes perfect sense, as many of the hikes are actually walks, with little or no elevation gain, on well-maintained trails. Details important to families—is there shade, are there washrooms, are there places to sit for those spectacular views—will also be useful for those not looking for mountain marathons.

So please have a look. And if spending more time in the wild—unplugging and hugging—is important to your family, then make sure to have this book in your backpack or glove compartment.

“Now, no more excuses for not getting out with the kids.”

— Christina Rowsell, Brighter Side YYC Blog

Lynda Three Mountain Family Hikes College

Lynda Pianosi

Author, professional outdoor guide, and mom

I’ve always lived an active outdoor life. My childhood was spent hiking, canoeing, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing and skating at the family cottage in eastern Canada. With the occasional extreme sport … like the time I welded my tongue to a frozen pipe. That MUST have been a dare.

That rich childhood of active exploration instilled in me a lifelong love of nature, and a deep belief that children should be given opportunities to experience it from an early age. So when my husband and I moved to Alberta in 1999, it was the beginning of my own family's intimate relationship with nature—in the Canadian Rockies.

As a family, we discovered the hard way that guidebooks were written for adults. A seed was planted—perhaps we could document our experiences and help other parents. It started with easy walks and hikes suitable for our child carrier backpacks and all-terrain strollers—we’ve tested a few over the years. And as our children grew, so did the length and difficulty of our itineraries. With much trial and error, Take a Hike with Your Children was born.

My teenage boys now prefer mountain adventures with friends NOT parents. But that hasn’t stopped me from sharing my passion for the outdoors with others through professional guiding and volunteer work.

Home is the scenic town of Canmore, Alberta, where I work year-round as a professional, multi-certified and accredited interpretive guide and active sports instructor. When not explaining the retreating of glaciers or the rutting habits of Wapiti (Elk), I volunteer with wilderness education and research initiatives in the community. And most importantly, I’m just about to launch my second book. Stay tuned.

Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe

Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe- Easy, Family-friendly, Ideal for Beginners

What Is It Like?  3.9 km loop, 30M(98ft) Elevation Gain Hogarth Lakes snowshoe, in Kananaskis Country,  is another very easy, family friendly snowshoe. As a matter of fact, this popular, well-traveled trail gets so hard packed, that you really don’t … Read More

Larch Trees Are An Evergreen, But They Are Not Always Green

A Larch is an Evergreen that doesn’t always stay green, why? Not even tree experts can really answer this question. There are some ideas as to why these unique trees drop their “leaves”, for example: No needles on the branches mean … Read More

“Do’s” and “Don’ts” – Tips for Hiking In Bear Country

“Do’s” and “Don’t’s” – Tips for Hiking In Bear Country Here are a list of “Do’s and “Don’ts” when Hiking the mountain trails, or walking around a town that is “home” to  bears, (Canmore and Banff ,for example).  “DO”: Do Keep … Read More

Active Outdoor Guided Programs

Professional instruction and guiding for your family or small group

Winter is no reason to stay inside—especially in the winter wonderland of the Canadian Rockies.

From beginner to novice, and in just a few hours, I’ll help you learn the basics, improve your skills, and conquer the trails.

We’re so lucky to have the Rockies in our own backyard. It's hands-down the best classroom imaginable.

As a homeschool mom myself, I know how to open a child's eyes to all its wonders, while meeting your curriculum goals.

There's nothing more magical than the Rockies after a big dusting of fresh snow.

Don't let that snow hold you back. Let my interpretive guiding and snowshoeing skills bring it to life for your group this winter.


Take a Hike with Your Children™

If getting your kids out of the house and into nature is important,
then you need this book.

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