Hiking With the Kids

On the 4th, we went hiking went the kids on the Gully Creek Trail. It’s a neat trail at Cumberland Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This trail is short but brutal. It’s about 2 1/2 miles and it drops about 800 feet in elevation. And of course when you go down, you must climb back up. I guess we’re kinda crazy, but we like taking the kids on tough hikes. They have a blast crossing the creeks and climbing rocks. Last year, I did it with Drew in a backpack, which seriously wore me out. This year Drew, who is 3, did almost the whole hike on his own. I put him on my shoulders for about 10 minutes and Jennifer carried him for about 5 minutes, but he kept on going the whole way. I absolutely love my kids!!! You can tell so much about their personalities when on a tough hike.

  • the cautious one: Emma kept saying, wait up, while she was carefully planning where to place each step
  • the contemplative one: Luke kept saying, can we stop, this is beautiful. Let’s just stay here a few minutes and look at this
  • the crazy one: Drew just kept saying, weeeeee!, and jumping in any puddle or jumping over any rock he could find. He kept using the big rocks as a slide.

Overall, we had a blast. The trail really is beautiful, full of rhododendrons, ferns, mountain laurels, and several pretty waterfalls down at the creek. There is such a sense of accomplishment for the kids when we get back to the car. Although it took us close to 3 hours (Drew slowed way down toward the end), we still had soo much fun together. It’s a good workout for us as well. I think that hike needs to be a new 4th of July tradition.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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