Customize Your Landmarks for Ultimate Kid Fun On The Trail
One of the things we love doing on our hikes, is naming landmarks as a way to remember our trail experience. For new trails this is especially important because remembering is much easier when there are fun names to recite back to yourself. Some of our favorites that come to mind are: “T-Rex Rapids”, “Morla Hill”, “Turtle Pond”, and Skunk Hollow”.
T-Rex Rapids is located at Sunol Regional Wilderness where it looks like a T-Rex sliced through the rocks to make 3 claw-like slashes where the water rushes down. Morla Hill got its name from Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve where the massive, misty hill you climb is reminiscent of Morla the Turtle from the 90’s flick (and my cherished fave), Neverending Story. Turtle Pond is just that: It’s a pond we stumbled upon at Sunol where turtles instinctively dive off floating tree limbs. Lastly, Skunk Hollow is a sweet little spot on the Martin Canyon Creek Trail, where we met the most adorable baby skunk who must have gotten lost from its mother.
All of these names have meaning to each of us–whether it’s from a movie we saw as children or an animal we met, they are now special ways we commemorate a spot on a trail we cherish. It’s so easy to pass up moments like these but they happen to us everyday. Your kids can take part in this activity and it would be fun to make up silly names that they won’t forget. Here are some things to keep in mind when naming your landmarks.
- Notice if your child mentions a particular part on the trail reminds them of a movie, song, or memory–these make perfect landmark names from characters, song titles, or experiences
- Smells are a way to add another sense into the title of your landmark–words like smelly, stinky, stale or sweet are good ones
- Animals are a wonderful way to capture silly characteristics like fang, claw, hook, or beak
- If the landmark has specific features like jagged rocks or pine needles, then maybe you’d use rough, sharp, or pointy in the name
- Always use the physical landmark in your title if you want to name a section you enjoyed being on: stream, field, slope, hill, or tree
- Use your child’s name in the title of the landmark if he or she conquered a fear like climbing a tree or crossing a stream (Stella’s Tree or Michelle’s River)
- What is the weather like? Is it warm, hot, cold, or chilly when a moment happened? Adding how you felt in the title of the landmark can elicit the same feelings when you come back
Of course, be as silly as you can and laughs will ensue in the naming process. Commemorating someone in your thoughts or whose passed on, is a fun way to give them honor on your hike. Have you tried this when you’re out on the trail? What names do you use and how did you come up with it?