Exploring with Kids @Jump Hill Preserve

Jump Hill Preserve

On New Year’s Day, we decided to get out and go for a hike, and ended up choosing the Jump Hill Preserve, the northern most section of the 1,009 acre Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area. We chose Jump Hill because it sounded like the trails were pretty easy, and we didn’t want anything too hilly to deal with in the snow. We quickly discovered that trails that don’t seem steep in the summer become so when there’s snow.

Avery’s two favorite activities when we hike are: 1. Turning over rocks and logs to look for worms, slugs, beetles or some other bug, and 2. Throwing rocks or sticks into the water. During the winter the former isn’t possible, but it turns out that having snow around means there’s ready material to throw any time anywhere. No water needed!

There are a lot of small vernal pools on this property, many of which were half frozen over. Avery found a new activity in banging the ice with a stick to break it up into smaller pieces. Had we allowed him, he could happily have spent all afternoon doing this, but for me, hiking in the winter requires constant movement or I get cold pretty quickly.


We ended up going on every trail in Jump Hill, even the short tan one and Peter’s Trail. We were at times disoriented on the white trail since it turns back on itself so many times, but there are so many trail markings it’s impossible to get lost.

Before we started, I realized I’d forgotten to fill up Avery’s water bottle before leaving home, and it was only about a third full when we started. I needn’t have worried. It turns out he stayed plenty hydrated … eating the snow. There are frequently dogs on this trail, so we had a very serious discussion on avoiding yellow snow.

For maps, directions and more information about the Jump Hill Preserve in Easton, click here. 

Sections: Exploring Preserves with Kids