Twelve Months Hiking Project: Times Beach Nature Preserve (April 2015)

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Another month, another chance to get out and breathe some fresh air!  Spring has finally sprung around here; there are daffodils in my yard and we’ve even had temperatures in the seventies on a few days.  It wasn’t quite that warm yesterday – mid fifties when we went out – but it was plenty warm enough to get the kids out for an excursion.

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I really wanted to go somewhere that we hadn’t been before, which posed some logistical challenges.  I’m still not cleared for exercise, which meant we had to pick a short trail (better with a toddler and a newbie anyway).  And I’m rusty with my babywearing devices, so we decided to push the stroller again to make things simpler.  Of course that meant we had to do some homework before choosing a trail for this month’s explorations.  After a bit of googling, I decided that Times Beach Nature Preserve sounded promising.  We’d never been there, so it meant some new sights, but I was fairly sure that the paths would be stroller-friendly.

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Times Beach ended up being a big hit in all respects!  The path was mostly made up of crushed stone, which was perfect for us.  There was just enough bounce to the ride that Nugget was lulled to sleep immediately, and snoozed peacefully throughout the entire hike – but not so much bounce that we were worried about him.

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(It’s worth noting that I have a fairly rugged stroller – the BOB Revolution SE – which can handle more off-roading than some other models.  If you’re looking for a stroller-friendly hike in the area, keep your stroller’s capabilities in mind.  My BOB handled Times Beach with no trouble at all, but it’s the only stroller I’ve ever used so I can’t promise the paths would be as easy on other wheels.)

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As we entered the nature preserve, we looked back toward the city and talked about the Skyway.  Hard to believe I rode my bike over that thing!  Seems like a lifetime ago.  (The Skyride is taking place again this year, but I decided not to register.  I enjoyed the event very much last year, but it’s too soon after Nuggetpalooza for me to feel comfortable taking on a 29-mile bike ride.  Besides, all of my workout time and energy is going to have to go toward marathon training.  But I’d encourage anyone in Buffalo who likes cycling to try the Skyride.  It was a blast!)

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Also near the entrance to the nature preserve: this slightly more rugged path.  We decided not to walk it, because we thought it would be too bouncy even for our stroller.  But I’m already planning to come back with Nugget in a carrier so that we can check it out.

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We looped around and headed deeper into the nature preserve, taking in the views of the city and the nearby marina as we walked.

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After a little while, the path gave way to a stretch of boardwalk.  I love boardwalks – they always remind me of hiking in the wetlands at home in the DC area – so we took our time and enjoyed our stroll on this one.

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Nugget was very impressed with the views of Lake Erie.  Actually that’s a lie.  He slept the entire time so I guess he wasn’t impressed at all.  Babies have such high standards for their scenery.

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Peanut spent most of the hike playing with the straps to her sunshade.  Kids these days…  Oh, well, at least hubby and I enjoyed the water views!

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Hiking with two kids.  I cannot believe I have two kids.

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Times Beach was beautiful and a perfect hiking experience for this month.  I’d love to come back when it’s greener – I’ll bet it’s just gorgeous.  I also read that Times Beach is notable for the many species of birds that take up residence there during the warmer months, so I think that would be something to see.  I think we’ll be going back in a couple of months!

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Gear

Hubby: Merrell hiking boots (ancient, so I don’t know the model; he’s still planning to get new ones soon); Black Diamond hiking poles; Deuter KidComfort III child carrier.

Me: Oboz Luna hiking boots (my summer boots); BOB Revolution SE stroller; Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat.

Anyone else get out and enjoy some fresh air this weekend?  How great is it that the weather is FINALLY improving?

10 thoughts on “Twelve Months Hiking Project: Times Beach Nature Preserve (April 2015)

  1. A suggestion. Just to the south and adjacent to Times Beach is Wilkenson Pointe–a more structured space with paved walkways, native plantings and rain gardens, kinetic wind sculptures, and a nice surprise–large marble column and capital sections from a demolished landmark downtown building. Not as substantial a hike as Times Beach, but plenty of things to interest a Peanut.

    http://www.buffaloah.com/a/water/wilk/wilk.html

    • Thanks! We get a lot of enjoyment out of hiking, as you know, but there are definitely logistical complications whenever little ones are involved. I hope we are able to make it all year! Planning on our seasonal Reinstein hike in May, btw – I’ll text you about your availability. We’re pretty open right now…

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