We recently visited Pinecrest Lake to hike around and have a picnic. It was such a perfect day and the weather was just gorgeous. I think springtime is the best time to visit, the plants & flowers around the lake are still green and blooming from the snow melt, its not too hot and if you were to hike up to Cleo’s Bath (we did not) the waterfalls should be flowing!
I have been going to Pinecrest since I was a little girl on our family camping trips. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve hiked the lake loop trail or climbed the (somewhat dangerous) rocks at the end of the Cleo’s Bath Trail. It‘s always so sweet showing your children a place that has been so special to you since you were young.
Jude, almost 5, did great walking the whole time on his own. He had to stop at almost every log and large rock to climb & explore, he only fell once surprisingly. Jesse was perfectly content in the carrier on daddy’s back, enjoying the sights and sounds of everything and listening to our voices chatting & joking.
The hike took about 2 1/2 hours and was definitely dragged out by the constant stopping and exploring, but that’s how hikes go when you’ve got young, exploratory kids! And it forces you, the parents, to really look up and enjoy the views and the moment. Aren’t children always teaching us some valuable lesson?
We veered off the trail a bit to find a shady, quiet place to stop so I could nurse Jesse. The photo above shows our little secret spot. This was towards the back of the lake and not many people were around. We also got the strong beautiful breeze that blows through over the dam. Jude & Eddie hopped across a few rocks to get out to this little island and put their feet in the icy water. At one point we were all just sitting quietly there enjoying the breeze, the fresh, clean air (that doesn’t smell like a turkey plant like at our home) - soaking it all in. It’s one of those moments you go back to when someone says “find your happy place”.
Jesse got to stretch his legs out and put his feet on the ground for a bit. He really, really wanted to crawl around but it was not the most baby friendly space. So after a while we packed back up, as refreshed as can be, and were on our merry way.
We ended the hike walking past these lush green grasses, cabin dwellers starting dinner and people parking boats at their docks after a fun day on the water. Then we let Jude play at the lake beach for a bit, making sand patties and splashing around in the freezing water. It did feel really good to put my dusty feet in the cold water to clean them off and let them soak and rest.
I’m sure we’ll be going back there again soon, next time we’ll take more water on the hike! Where are your favorite places to hike with your family and find the connection with nature that only being in the great outdoors can provide? Let me know in the comments below!