Exploring with Kids @ Randall's Farm Preserve

Snowshoeing at Randall’s Farm Preserve

The Sunday right after the big storm, I really wanted to get out and snowshoe, but since the plows hadn’t been through yet, we were forced to stick to the road right around our home. However, the following weekend, there was still plenty of snow, and we scoured the Aspetuck Land Trust’s site to look for a preserve that would have two main qualities: 1. Be relatively flat, and 2. Have decent parking. The criteria for flat was driven by the limited snowshoeing stamina of our five-year-old son, Avery. A good parking situation was critical as we were not comfortable leaving our car on the side of a barely-plowed road. We ended up at Randall’s Farm, a large open space with several fields and a small parking lot.  

We started in the (very unplowed) parking lot and put on our snow shoes. The downside of wide open space is a lack of trail markers, and the map I printed out and clung to throughout the hike was useless as we never knew where we were or whether we were on a trail at all. 

We started out in a big circle around the field to get used to being on the snowshoes, but as is typical with every hike we go on, Avery was drawn to the water. He kept searching for streams and ponds, and when the ice made it impossible for him to throw sticks in the water, he simply decided to use the stick to bang on the ice and break it into small chunks. I always marvel at the effort we, as parents, put into finding activities for our kids, and all they really want is to throw sticks in the water.

First I thought I wanted a preserve with more trees, but given that the trails couldn’t be seen at all, we quickly realized that there’s no way we could have seen the trails, so the wide openness of Randall’s Farm was really a benefit.

A few notes if you’re considering doing a similar activity:

 ♦  If the weather report says it’s going to be really windy, find a preserve with more trees to help break the wind.
 ♦  Though we found a preserve with a parking lot, it wasn’t plowed, so getting in was a little nerve wracking. Fortunately, someone had come before us and opened some tracks. Also, we have a Subaru.
 ♦  Consider wearing sunglasses. The sun off the snow is really bright.
 
Snowshoeing in the preserve really gave us a different perspective on it. I’m crossing my fingers there will still be snow this weekend and that it snows again so we can enjoy this unique activity.
For maps, directions and more information about the Randall's Farm Preserve in Easton, click here. 

  

Sections: Exploring Preserves with Kids