Newport State Park is a great place to camp in Door County without spending the night on top of your neighbors as you might at Peninsula State Park, and without spending a fortune on ferry rides as you would when visiting Rock Island State Park. (Which I still highly recommend, by the way, despite the high cost of getting there. Read more here.) The frequently intersecting trail system can make a hike as long (or short) as you want it to be through a series of loops, and the terrain is flat enough for any hiker, including children. Rocky shorelines provide rugged hiking and scrambling for more adventurous hikers.
There are dozens of reasons to get into backpacking and hiking: cheap vacation, healthy living, immersion into nature, etc. There are just as many reasons to get your kids out hiking too, and the earlier the better. My personal favorite reason is that I get uninterrupted time with my kids in a calm and positive environment. A close second is that I’m making it more likely that they’ll love and respect nature for the rest of their lives. It’s been rewarding for me personally as well, being able to see nature differently through their eyes.
Many parents of young children are astonished when I tell them that I started backpacking with my son when he was three years old. They’re even more astonished when I tell them that he carries his own pack with a few pounds of food and gear for two miles or more every trip, and loves it! He’s not a mini Jeremiah Johnson (yet), and he’s of average physical ability for a kid his age. Continue reading How to Go Backpacking with Kids (Even Young Ones)