By Amie Mignatti
The summer sun shines brightly, the birds sing sweetly, the flowers are blooming, the snow has melted, and it’s definitely time to get outdoors and explore this beautiful corner of the world. There are a plethora of possibilities for hiking, camping, and enjoying the mountains.
Before I had my child, I was often in the mountains. I loved long hikes, overnight trips, week-long walks … whatever I could do to be outside, and surrounded by such beauty, I did. I explored a good part of the Alps from France to Italy, and yet there is still so much more to do and see.
Once I had my daughter, we were often in the mountains, and have discovered new places that I hadn’t been before. The world of the mountains with children then opened up to me, and I saw how easy and possible it is to explore with babies, toddlers and older children.
We have an old, beloved VW Bus that we love to cruise around in and go camping in on the weekends. We go anywhere reachable on a one to a four-hour drive, and have found amazing and beautiful out of the way places doing this. For those of you without a car or the desire to camp, there are also many ways to visit the countryside using public transportation or finding a sweet guest house to stay in.
Now that our daughter is four, we do longer walks and hikes with her. Since we are outdoors so much, she has grown up walking a lot and so the transition to the mountains has been easy. We started slowly, doing 30 minute walks to an Alm or hut, getting something to eat (and always bringing our own food), and then walking back. We are now to where she is fine doing a four hour round trip. One of the things that we’ve found really helps to make this possible is to bring a friend.
There are several books (in German) with hiking trails that are family friendly and good for children.
One that we just did and loved was the Obersee in the Berchtesgadener Land. This is an hour long walk to Fischunkelalm from the Salet Alm, taking the boat across the Konigssee. The best way to reach the Konigssee is by car and it’s a very easy and accessible weekend trip. There are plenty of places to stay in the Berchtesgadener Land and some lovely campsites, so all needs can be accommodated.
The walk to the Fischunkelalm is easy for children and also easy if you have a child in a carrier, as it’s basically flat the entire time. I would advise leaving early because you do want to spend some time at the Alm – it’s gorgeous out there! The boat ride to Salet is about and hour and the hike is an hour, so its a full day with breaks and eating.
Another hike we did recently with our daughter and another family (the youngest walker was three) is the Siebenhutten Alm near Kreuth. We did this with the BOB and bus combination. We took the BOB to the Tegernsee and then took a bus (“Wildbad Kreuth”). From the parking lot there are yellow hiking trail signs leading you to the Siebenhutten.
It took about 1.5 hours to get there and it was a 45-minute walk to the hut. Once at the hut, you can relax on the meadow by the river. Our children all got naked and played, and they were not the only ones. It was a gorgeous way to spend the day! The Siebenhutten has a Brotzeit and warm food, good beer and Schorles, and it’s a great reward for the kids after a nice walk through the forest. This one is also possible with a kinderwagen.
These are just two of many possibilities. I research online, in German, and have found many hiking paths this way, as there are many bloggers who post their hikes and routes with kids. We live in such a beautiful part of the world and it’s so easy to explore it!
Wishing you a beautiful and sunny summer with mountains, flowers, laughter and breathtaking moments.
Amie Mignatti is a free-spirited woman with her feet on the earth and her heart in the stars. After traveling the world for many years, she landed in Munich where she wears many different hats: yoga teacher, nature coach, outdoor educator for children, English teacher. She also runs personal development courses for women in nature. She and her family are happiest outdoors with friends and campfires.
Check out her blog here.