Tracks, trails, and tales. With the record snowfall this winter we have really enjoyed snowshoeing. Full disclosure though that after going several times, the novelty wore off for our younger son and he said it was just hiking with big shoes and snow. Busted.

However, we packed a fun lunch and got him out one more time and it turned into more than a boring old hike thanks to…. animal tracks. We went to @raritanheadwaters shortly after one of the snow falls and while there hadn’t been a lot of humans yet on the trails, there had been what looked like animal rush hour. There were so many tracks, the boys said the place must be like Zootopia.

Our just-a-hike-with-big-shoes-on turned into a fun afternoon of searching for tracks and then telling stories about what animal it could be, where it was headed, and what it was up to. The tracks often crisscrossed and mixed which provided dramatic storyline fodder (recall there’s a middle schooler involved too) and at one point we encountered a creature making the tracks! He quickly scampered into a hole in the snow. We were disappointed not to see an elusive Jersey Devil though.

We’ll see how much longer the snow lasts around here, but the great thing is that snowshoes are easy to toss in the car for an hour’s drive to higher altitude/colder temps. There are also some good rental options if you want to try it out for your family before buying snowshoes. One last reason we love snowshoeing is that it’s way easier to get a snowshoe on a kid’s foot than a ski boot or skate, so we’re fans of the ease factor.

(Note: Tacy Quinn originally posted this on Instagram. She says: “Our family Instagram project is all about getting outside as a family and we love that Fairview Farm is open and is such a magical spot that we can go to on weekends and for events like the Lantern Walk.” Thank you for sharing, Quinn family!)