If you love all things nature-inspired, summer is the best time to get your kids involved in your downtime activities – from hikes, to cycling trails and running trails. The most important thing is to be organised and prepared, plus have the right gear to make things efficient and easy on the day. Enter Swedish brand, Thule, which creates a range of premium products, so that you and your family can fully immerse yourself in your given outdoor activity… plus a roundup of some of the best hikes, cycling trails and running trails to do with young kids.
For trail runs, Thule’s Glide 2 is a must, as this all-terrain pram has a sleek, lightweight design and is all about comfort for you and your little one. Fast, lightweight, and with a fixed front wheel, large 18” wheels, the Thule Glide 2 running stroller is designed for parents to get out for a run on different types of terrain, always with peace of mind, knowing their precious cargo is safe and comfortable. The extra comfortable handlebar moves to different heights, which means that every jogger in the house is comfortable ― and it provides enough space for a generous kick stride. For added safety, the hand-activated front brake increases braking control on steep terrain, while the rear suspension and padded seats provide a comfortable ride for your little one. The vented top reclines, so that no naps are missed, and the peekaboo window allows you to check on your precious cargo, without disturbing them. In addition, the multi-position canopy protects your little person from any type of weather you might encounter. There’s no need to take an extra bag, as there’s a handy compartment for all the essentials for you and baby. When you’re all done, simply use one hand to collapse the lightweight sport stroller (with one hand!) into a sleek, compact position to lift it into your car.
3 recommended trail runs with kids:
Modderfontein Nature Reserve, Gauteng There are various running and cycling trails, ranging from 10km to 40km; throughout, you’ll be surround by 275 hectares of green rolling hills and savannah-like grasslands.
Hogsback Trails, Eastern Cape Start with the 12km Kettlespout Falls Trail that takes you through an indigenous forest, before you decide which of the other 12+ day runs and hikes you want to try.
Parkrun, Nationwide These weekly 5km runs happen every Saturday at 8am and always take place in lovely parkland
Surroundings; pick a different area every weekend to explore the city you live in with your child.
If you prefer hiking with your kids, then the Thule Sapling (and the Thule Sapling Elite) is an innovative child carrier backpack that at once gives your little one a great view and a comfortable, secure ride.
Much like Thule’s hiking backpacks, these carrier backpacks are all about comfort and smart features. The plush, height adjustable, ergonomic seat distributes the child’s weight, while the back panel and hipbelt are quick and easy to adjust and effortlessly transitions between parents – a lifesaver on longer hikes.
For added on-the-move flexibility, you can place your child in the carrier from the side or the top. Once they are in, there are even stirrups for them to rest their legs and a sunshade to protect them from the sun. For you, the breathable back panel provides padding and support at critical points, allowing air to circulate around your back, keeping you cool. For hot days, you’ll love the convenient water reservoir pocket, plus you can use the zippered compartment to store other essentials. For added peace of mind, you might want to consider the Thule Sapling Elite, which comes with a mirror and allows you to keep an eye on your precious cargo every step of the way; there’s also a rain cover (sold separately) to ensure that your little one stays dry no matter what the weather.
3 recommended hikes with kids:
God’s Window, Mpumalanga Your kids will love the gnarly trees and massive tree ferns in this rain forest, plus you can take in impressive views of the Lowveld from this viewpoint after about 30 minutes of hiking.
Woodcutter Trail, near Sedgefield Situated in the Milwood Forest, this diverse and do-able 3km walk/ hike is great for young families; plus, it can take up to three hours, as there so much to explore.
Mountain Sanctuary, Magaliesberg This beautiful nature reserve offers hiking trails that range from 15 minutes to 8 hours, all surrounded by beautiful flora, birdlife, butterflies and other animals.
For cycling enthusiasts, your little one can join you on your bike (quite literally) for cycle trails, with Thule’s Yepp Next Mini, a lightweight and stylish front-mounted child bike seat. Ticking boxes for safety, durability and usability, this carrier features of plethora of smart designs.
It has rubberised shoulder pads to prevent the straps from sliding down your child’s arm, while foot straps keep the child’s feet and legs out of danger. There’s also a two-handed childproof safety buckle, which means that your clever little munchkin will never be able to unbuckle the straps by accident. The shock absorbing materials in the padded seat ensure a safe and comfortable ride for your little one – and for extra comfort, there’s a handlebar for them to place their hands on. If needed, the carrier can be equipped with a windscreen too. Besides being the easiest way to get your toddler excited about bikes and cycling from a very young age, this child bike carrier is also an investment, as it comes with adjustable footrests and straps to use during those years when newly sized clothes are a given every few months. Best of all, the seat is easy to clean and quick to mount and dismount from your bike.
3 recommended cycle trails with kids:
Rosemary Hill, Gauteng On the outskirts of Pretoria, the estate on this working organic farm boasts 33km of trails, and abundant birdlife and breathtaking views, surrounded by beautiful trees.
Sugar Rush Park, KZN The magic behind this family-focused destination is the wide-open spaces; besides cycle trails, there’s a farmyard setting, adventure activities and a 1km kids’ mountain bike track for older kids.
Boschendal, Western Cape Choose from one of five marked trails (ranging from 4km to 23km) on the new Boschendal MTB trails, then treat the kids to a picnic and a pony ride afterwards.