Kidney Pond to Little Niagara: Hike/paddle
Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 11:09AM
Nikko Lee

Our daycare is closed for a week and a half mid-August, which means it's family vacation time. Our favorite hiking spot has been Baxter state park and our favorite camping spot Wilderness Edge campground (no charge for kids under 12 and they have screen cabins).

Camping with small children is not for the faint or heart or those who enjoy relaxation and sleep. We are realisitic in our hiking plan considering there will be lots of carrying of children. After reading Aislinn Sarnacki's description of her hike and paddle from Kidney Pond to the Niagara falls in BSP, I was determined to try it with the kids. Fortunately, my husband was also up for the challenge after a day of hiking Katahdin.

When we picked up the key for the Lily Pond canoes at Kidney Pond, the ranger suggested we paddle across Kidney Pond. Ambitious me wanted to hike. However, I forgot how rocky the first section of the Kidney Pond trail is. Without poles and my daughter wanting to walk, the first mile was an agonizingly slow trek. However, we were rewarded with an enjoyable paddle once we reached Lily pond.

The found the docking site at the trail head for Little Niagara after spotting a tiny wooden arrow on a tree and had a snack before heading off on foot to the falls.

Unfortunately, I forgot the cardinal rule when hiking with children - they want to be carried when you least want to carry them. We set off with only one of the two carriers and in short order both children wanted me - and only me - to carry them. We made it to the Little Niagara falls before I realized that we also needed to get back. My husband went on ahead to get the other carrier while I struggled with the two.

I was surprised at how much the kids loved being in the canoe. No one fell in and we didn't tip over, which is a win in my books. The trek back to Kidney Pond was capped off with my daughter insisting on walking that last half mile of the rockiest terrain bare-footed.

All in all a great trip although I'd recommend paddling Kidney Pond.

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