I love Moran State Park. My children really love our hikes around Mountain Lake, always with a goal of making it to Twin Lakes and beyond.
Every time we go, which was often, we get a little farther and they know exactly how far we have gone. My children are young, spanning from two years old to seven years. We make a day of it, packing enough food, extra clothes, extra shoes and water for the day in my double stroller. Mountain Lake is the only trail we’ve found, in Moran, that fits my double stroller, until recently. To our huge disappointment a large barricade has been put in the path, presumably meant to discourage bikers. We got through that first barrier by taking everything out of the stroller so I can break it down and push it underneath. To our huge dismay, there is another barrier right at the turn off to Twin Lakes. I’m 5’5, 125lbs and unfortunately, I’m not strong enough to lift my double stroller over the barricade to continue our way. We had to turn around and head back. What’s most sad is that we haven’t been back since. We used to walk a few times a week and now with these barricades these walks are unwelcome to us. I suppose we will be able to hike again once the kids are old enough that they don’t require naps, get tired or need snacks.
Moran State Park and specifically the Mountain Lake Trail was how I kept my cool as a mother of three young children. When things got crazy we could retreat to the forest and everything would smooth out, everyone would be happy. We have encountered bikers a handful of times, and it has never been an issue. They have always been polite, moving right out of our way while informing us of how many more are behind them. Now I’m sure they throw their bikes easily over the barricades. The only people those barricades are going to block are mothers and families hiking with strollers. If we want our children to value and protect the forests in the future we need to let them experience them now.