Okay, now that the weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, it is time to get outside with the family. My young kids want to be outside from sun up till sun down. Many afternoons between homework and dinner, we are found outside in our yard playing ball, riding scooters, or playing with friends at the playground. However, when the weekends roll around we are all ready for some fun not found in our own yard.

hiking outdoor fun special needs kids nashvilleNashville and the surrounding areas are lucky to be full of many local and state parks. You really should not have to drive very far to find a great place to hike. My family only has to drive a few miles to be at our favorite hiking spot. We love going to Hidden Lake Park in Bellevue. There is river access to fish or canoe, and a few different hiking trails to explore. When it is just my son and me, we take the longer trail that goes to a beautiful lake surrounded by cliffs. It is a pretty easy hike, but pretty long. The view at the end is totally worth the time.

However, if my daughter is with us, we take a shorter trail. Her physical delays make long hikes a little harder on her, but Hidden Lake has a great short trail that is on a well worn path. My daughter is easily able to join us on that trail without causing her any problems. The fun thing on that trail is that there are bird houses all along the trail. We have fun looking for different types and colors of birds. We plan to go back soon and take a bird book to name as many different birds as we can. The trail is shorter, but we make it fun by looking around for fun plants or animals to spy on. If you have a special needs child or adult, there are even some paved hiking trails or greenways you can find in our area. I would suggest going to the Metro Parks website and finding one in your area.

Hidden Lake Park in Bellevue special needs kids nashvilleWe always end our hikes by finding water to throw rocks into. Both of my kids love to throw rocks and listen to the splash they make. Honestly, I join them most hikes as well, but my husband is the best rock thrower. Sometimes we take lunch and eat in a pretty spot or a snack to celebrate the end of a fun hike. I always make sure that we all drink some water, wear comfy shoes, and have on sunscreen. It really does not matter how far we go on the hike, but it matters that we are all together and enjoying the beauty around us.

This spring, find a hiking trail near you and explore it as a family. You cannot beat a free fun family outing!