Monday, November 21, 2011

Morro Dunes Ecological Reserve, Los Osos

I always look forward to the first clear day after a big rain storm.  The rain seems to wash away the old and give everything a fresh new vibrancy.  The air is crisper, the eucalyptus trees next to my house renew their pungent aroma and the sky seems just a shade more blue.  It is also my favorite time to take this hike.

I am fortunate to have the Morro Dunes Ecological Reserve just a few blocks from my home.  Every day people use these trails to stretch their legs, let their doggies romp and of course enjoy the views.  I however, only frequent this trail right after a good rain.  Now if you like trudging through ankle deep sand, be my guest but my out-of-shape-postpartum-booty likes the packed wet sand.

On a day like today when the sand is hard packed a BOB or other jogging type stroller could get you through most of the trail however, there are a few narrow areas that may be hard to get the stroller through as TJ's Grandma Buzzy shows you all right here.

Also, this trail is a straight shot, straight up then loops back down.  I don't know about you but pushing the BOB up that hill looks a little tough for me so we chose to use our Kelty backpack today for the first time!  TJ did great in the backpack and I definitely got a little extra workout lugging him up the mountain.

The views from the top can't be beat! Overall, I'd say this is a great, easily accessible, short hike for mamas looking to get some exercise.  There are many trails in this area that are slightly flatter that may be more suitable if you are bringing some little walkers along.  If you are looking to burn some serious calories, this trail continues upward and to the west eventually spitting you out into Montana de Oro State Park.  We won't be attempting that one for awhile!

So here is the bottom line on this hike...
Gradual uphill hike through sandy soil
Suitable for adults of all ages (in decent physical shape) carrying kids in an Ergo or backpack
Large portion of trail is accessible with a jogging stroller but some areas of trail may be too narrow
Perfect hike after a rainy day

How to get there...
Take Los Osos Valley Road into Los Osos
Make a Left on Broderson Avenue
Park at the dead end and head straight up the hill
Follow the well traveled path

I leave you with this adorable little man. 
Oh boy, that face is hard to resist!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk, Cambria

The sun was shining up the coast from our house today so we decided to hit the road to Cambria to walk along the waves on the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. When we arrived the sun was shining, the surfers were out and there was just enough of a breeze to keep us cool on our walk.

The boardwalk is an appropriate adventure for any age group. TJ happily went along in the BOB but an older kiddo could have easily walked the trail. Unfortunately bikes are not allowed on the boardwalk but you can bring your four legged friends along as long as they are on a leash. 


The walk is flat and easy to manouver with a stroller. There are plenty of benches along the way for a quick diaper change or to just take a little break and watch the waves. 

Along the path there are several staircases down to the sand where you can find multiple drift wood tee-pees. Turn this activity into a day trip with older kids by packing a lunch and after your walk head down to the water and help your kiddos build a tee-pee of there own. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about ocean currents and how the waves wash things like drift wood or trash onto the beach. 

The boardwalk was full of things to look at for all ages. We came across many ground squirrels, dogs and plenty of happy people. Which brings me to my next point. Never be afraid to ask someone to take a picture for you! You won’t get this moment back so document it now. I always try to find someone holding a camera then just offer to take their picture if they will take ours.

Another thing I love about this walk is there is a CLEAN potty at the parking lot. Hallelujah to that, right mommies! I will go miles out of my way for a clean potty. Weird, I know and probably way too much info for one of my first posts but from someone who has a child and has been a nanny of toddlers let me tell you, kids touch EVERYTHING. Even the yucky stuff so why not steer clear of it. Ok, enough of the bathroom rant.

So here is the run down on the boardwalk…
Great for all ages from newborn to grandma!
Completely stroller accessible with no difficult obstacles
Great scenery
Clean potty

Come prepared with…
Sweatshirt and a hat. We all know the coast around here is un predictable. Some days it is warm and sunny and others it is frigid and foggy.

How to get there…
From highway 1 heading north, turn left on Windsor and make an immediate right onto Moonstone Beach Drive. Stay on Moonstone Beach Drive about ¼ - ½ mile. On the left you will see a sign for San Simeon State Park/Santa Rosa Creek. Turn Left and there you are!

So there you have it. Hope you all enjoyed our first Active Family adventure. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this activity with their kids or has ideas of other fun things you could teach your kids on this walk.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Welcome to Active Family Fun, a place to find ideas and tips for outdoor, active, family fun and reviews of local activities for children.

First of all I’d like to introduce you to “The Active Family.” I’m Emily, the momma and adventure planning wizard. My husband is Jimmy, super Dad, baseball FANATIC and amazing handyman. And then there is TJ, our super amazing and incredibly adorable 5 month old that inspires us to get out and explore everyday.

When we first had TJ we were shocked at how hard it was to find information on outdoor adventures for kids like which hiking trails can you complete with a jogging stroller or reviews of programs for tiny tots. So, here we are! Planning and reviewing one adventure at a time for you! We will try to post at least one active family adventure a week complete with what you will need to get through the adventure, what ages it is appropriate for and some fun photos along the way. Please feel free to suggest places or activities for us to check out! We look forward to sharing our active family fun with you all!