A Summer Day in the Life of Trail Family

It’s always fun to get a glimpse into someone else’s world. That explains the popularity of reality television. However, we all know that those shows are just the highlights from hours and hours of recording. So when I write that this is a summer day in the life of Trail Family or any other post that shares an adventure, these are the highlights. 

I don’t want to build up some mythic image of us. We are a totally normal family. My kids have binge tv and video game days too. It is actually a great blessing to me that I get to share our stories. 

Like all kids, ours love summer break. There is no school, they have a lot more free time, and sometimes they get to stay up late and eat s’mores. The other side of that coin is that they don’t always know how to fill all their extra time. 

Recently our town has been knocking it out of the park when it comes to things for kids to do this summer. The Library, Rail Trail, and Parks and Recreation Committee have teamed up to provide opportunities for some excellent experiences.


Last week we checked out the Birding Backpack from the Forest City Library. The weather then proceeded to rain, and rain, and rain some more. We only got out to go birding once while we had the backpack. However, we enjoyed the experience so much that I will be looking into getting some binoculars and a guide book of our own. We saw a robin and one other bird we haven’t identified yet.

This is the guide book included in the Birding backpack. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the whole pack.

We were much more aware of the sounds of the birds as we walked in the woods. We were not a very quiet bunch ourselves, of course. The birds were not likely motivated to come anywhere near us. Unfortunately, we didn’t see what other birds were singing in Kennedy Park that day, but now we have a mystery to solve together! I suppose that is the draw for this hobby.

Lexi trying to get a bird’s eye view on the birds!

Story Walk

When we decided to leave the birds to their own devices we enjoyed the Story Walk in the park. There are about twenty-three signs each with a page to a book, fun directives for the kids, and clues to some scavenger hunt questions. 

Reading aloud to my children is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love to read with lots of dramatic interpretation and do different voices for the characters. Moving from page to page on a sunny day while the kids “hopped like bunnies” or took giant steps as the signs directed added an extra special dimension to this real-aloud. We loved this new way of enjoying our two favorite things; reading and being outside. Next we get to do the other Story Walk that is on the D&H Rail Trail which starts at the Forest City trailhead going south toward Carbondale.

Counting the bugs in the Story Walk

I want to thank Forest City Branch Library, the Rail Trail Council, and Parks and Recreation for their commitment to making our little town a great place to grow up. We are enjoying your activities and hope to see more of the same in the future. Just in case no one has said it to you, I’ll say it here. You are all doing a great job! Keep up the good work!

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