On June 3 and 4, hikers took the opportunity to see Crazy Horse’s head up close up during the 10K walk.
Over 9,000 hikers took on the 6.2 mile hike starting near the visitor center going through a forest area and up to the top of Crazy Horse’s extended arm.
Not only were seasoned athletes hitting the trail, but also regular parents and their kids – everywhere from babies to teenagers. Parents carried babies in special backpacks that doubled as baby carriers. One family even had their baby in a stroller. Toddlers meandered beside parents. On the final stretch, pleads for ice cream could be heard all around.
Kristeana Lawson, a nurse from Custer, wanted to teach her 4-year-old daughter Lia that being active is fun. She thinks more parents should take their children hiking – and the Volksmarch is a great option for parents.
“We try to do stuff that is healthy and keeps us active. You really only have a few months around the year that you can do outdoors stuff,” said Kristeana. “The Volksmarch is not too hard for kids. They can take their time and there are rest stations throughout. But I think it is a good activity and it keeps kids active.”
There are some downsides to long hikes with young children, like having to carry her when she is too tired.
“Hiking is harder with her because half the time someone has to carry her,” laughed Kristeana
The next Volksmarch to Crazy Horse will be on October 1, 2017.
Tips for hiking with children:
1. Plan to take lots of rest breaks
Let your kids set the pace and take breaks to rest and fill up on water. This will keep them motivated.
2. Pack appropriately
Make sure to bring lots of water, small snacks like granola bars or dried fruit, and extra sunscreen. Ensure the kids wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and sun protection like sunglasses and hats.
3. Make it fun
Play games like I-Spy, point out wildlife, and let them take the lead to keep them engaged and excited.