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Topic: Camping with a 4 year old, 3 - 4 day trip< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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MikeRegas Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 10:28 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi everyone,

I am looking to find the good camping spot for me and my son. I would like to do some hiking and camping in the mountains with him. Any suggestions on locations would be great. We live in florida and typical camping for us is on an island in the intracoastal.

I am not apposed to a loop, but I am thinking something that is more of a base camp with day hikes is more realistic. If we do a loop I don't know how long he could go for a day hiking. So the loop would probably be short.

Thanks
Mike
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mossy Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A 3-4 day backpack loop trip for a 4 year old, in GSMNP, might be a bit too much. A good base camp/dayhike area is Cataloochee CG on the NE side of the park. The CG is small so make reservations. From there, there is a cool hiker-only trail (Boogerman/Caldwell Fork trails) that would make a nice day hike for a younger one.

I took my daughters for their break-in backcountry hike out to CS #39 in the Cataloochee area because it is mostly flat and easy for younger legs. They saw their first GSMNP bear on the trail, too. Might be an option for an overnighter.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A another option for hiking with kids is in North Georgia and hiking to the Len Foote Hike Inn. Not sure if you want to stick with tent camping or not, but if your open to other ideas I've taken my kids a couple times on the 5 mile one way hike to the inn and they really, really loved it. Just an idea. Its an easier light weight way to go to introduce young kids to hiking and give them a destination and nice hot meal at the same time. Kind of a nice compromise until they get older and can do more rigorous overnight backpacking miles & trips.

My Hike Inn blog with pictures & write up.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mossy and HikerDude73,

Thanks for the ideas. They both look like they could be ideal.

A couple of questions though. As for Catalooche CG I am going to just assume this is car camping. So we would not have to hike in and out a lot of gear or food.
You said it is kinda small so does that mean you are not camping on top of another group. I live in florida and every square inch is occupied at some of the camp grounds around here, no fun. What time of year would you recommend for this?

Thanks again.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 11:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You will drive out there on a winding paved road before reaching a dirt road that leads to the Cataloochee area. The CG is full most of the time it's open. It small as in not very many sites, which is ideal for frontcountry (car) camping. The sites themselves have adequate room. Try to reserve one along the back perimeter of the CG as it faces the woods and offers more privacy.

I prefer to go to this area in the fall to see the leaves and elk. Late spring/early summer would be pleasant, as well, but as the temps increase so do the crowds.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 12:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My kids loved Mammoth Cave at that age.  The hills aren't too bad and the cave tours are awesome for kids and they aren't too bad on the stairs with his age you could carry him if needed.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 1:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

the Lakeview Drive area of the Smokies has a BC few campsites are that really short hikes in and offer a two or three short loops you could do as dayhikes... also access to the lake for swimmin, perhaps.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 8:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know where you are in Florida, but we just took a family hiking trip in the Little Big Econ State Forest (near Orlando) with my 3 year old and 4 month old. It was 2 miles out and 2 miles back, and we had a great time!


I use this website a lot for Florida hiking: http://outintheboonies.com/


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"Long you live and high you fly. And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. And all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be." -Pink Floyd
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MikeRegas Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 2:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

He's pretty good camping and being outdoors. Four year olds have a ton of energy. I took him in October to Laurel Falls in and back and then Clingman's Dome in the same day so I think he would be okay at the Catalooche CG or perhaps the Lakeview Drive area.

I appreciate any and all tips and advice.

Thanks again.
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