To create a community of families with deep connections, rooted in their experiences with nature.
Engaging with nature.
Fostering outdoor community.
From my roots in rural Ontario, I spent my childhood and youth outdoors — building tree forts and sleeping in them, riding bikes for hours along dusty country roads, gathering frog eggs from the neighbour's pond in the summer, then skating on the same pond in the winter — incredible experiences that brought me closer to nature, taught me to appreciate its wonder and forged an incredible bond with my family. When I moved to Alberta in 1999 and became a mother, I knew I wanted to share that same experience with my children. And what better setting than the majestic surroundings of Canadian Rockies?
I quickly discovered that preparing a family with two small children for a hike in the mountains was no simple task. Not all hikes were alike and not all trails were designed for families.
- Which hikes were good with child carriers?
- Which trails would work with all-terrain strollers?
- Which hikes were considered easy and which more challenging for older children?
- What to do if you encounter wildlife?
Though I referenced several easy walks and hikes books, they were written with adults in mind and left her with unanswered questions. Through trial and error on many-a trail, an idea grew roots: what if my family documented our experiences to help other parents? The seeds for “Take a Hike with Your Children™” — the first-of-its-kind Rockies guide book written with families in mind, including the 1-2-3-4 Mountain Rating System™— difficulty level from a child’s perspective — were sown.
Having my guide book published — and now 12,000 copies sold! — was an incredible moment, yet my real sense of accomplishment comes from seeing the joy and wonder in the faces of every family member after an outdoor adventure. By reconnecting families with nature, by giving them an easy reference tool, by sharing the story of the mountains and by practicing a safe day on the trails, families can experience the incredible natural wonder and wilderness playground we have right at our backdoor. And you know they’ll be back for more.
The success of my book inspired me to become a professional, multi-certified and accredited interpretive guide and active sports instructor, based in Canmore, Alberta, where I am currently writing my second book with more trail options, older family members, accessibility and longer hikes in mind.
Always on the go, be sure to keep in touch and be on the lookout for more amazing, innovative ideas coming from Three Mountain Family Hikes in the future — all with the goal of encouraging families to get outside, be safe and best of all, have fun.
- I have hiked every 10km hike (and under!) in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho and Waterton Lakes National Parks — some of the hikes, I’ve done more than once, and some I’ve also done in the winter!
- The total hikes I have completed in National Parks? 125!
- I’ve worn the same pair of hiking socks for 5 days in a row! Why? I wanted to see if the wool would stink… and it doesn't, but my boots did!
- How many bears have I seen on the trails in 20 years of hiking? 3.
How many have roamed through my backyard over that same time? 6!
Let’s Work Together
Whether you’re representing a specific attraction, hospitality, local organizations or hiking gear and products, let’s chat! Together, we can showcase and engage families and get them even more excited about reconnecting with nature!