Advice From Outdoor Moms For New Mothers

Advice From Outdoor Moms For New Mothers

Advice from Outdoor Moms for New Moms

As we head towards Mother’s Day, we thought we would ask a few Northern Ontario mothers for their best advice for new Moms or Mom’s new to the outdoors.

Meet the Outdoor Moms:

Salina - NurtureInNatureMom

Salina Morris, @nurtureinnaturemom, is the founder of Nurture in Nature North Bay. @nurtureinnaturenorthbay is a community hiking group for local mothers in the North. They encourage a supportive, safe and inclusive space for moms to gather outdoors with their little ones.

Jess - rest.less.jess

Growing up, Jess @rest.less.jess, developed a profound love for the outdoors, nurtured by cherished family camping trips. After university, where she played varsity field hockey, she filled a void with the embrace of nature, while figuring out her career path. Whether conquering trails, scaling peaks or simply taking her dog for a walk, Jess finds pure joy in an active lifestyle. Now, she continues to share these experiences with her own family, creating lasting memories and fostering a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Visit her blog for more, www.restlessjessoutdoors.

Jana - Jana_b_anana

Jana, @jana_b_anana, is a full-time Registered Optician and amateur photographer. Jana is a nature lover who enjoys hiking, kayaking and taking photos along the way. She is a Mom to one little plus one of the four-legged variety.


Advice on How to Get Outdoors With Your Kids:

“My biggest piece of advice is to just go for it! It can feel really intimidating the first couple of times, especially going out by yourself, but the more you get out there, the more confidence you'll gain, and the better you'll feel about it! I found that not going too far from home and doing familiar trails made it easier to get out the door. I then worked my way up to bigger adventures that I made sure to plan in advance, so I felt prepared to get out there!” _ @rest.less.jess

Jana - Small Adventures

“Getting outside with your kids can be overwhelming sometimes but I find starting with small, shorter adventures and building up time and length from there is a great way to have more success with it. Set realistic expectations when it comes to length of trail and allow a lot of extra time to complete trail walks etc. Also, letting them be involved in choosing the destination can get them more interested in being out adventuring. To get my son more interested and involved I’ll ask him, ‘do you want to see a waterfall today or do you want to cross a lot of boardwalks?’ and depending on his answer we choose our destination together.” _ @jana_b_anana


5 Tips on Solo Hiking Outdoors With Your Little One

1. Always tell someone reliable the location of the trail you plan on hiking. Let them know when you start, when you end the hike, and when you return home! Never post your location live online.

2. Check the weather radar and make sure everyone is dressed in appropriate and comfortable layers for the season. If the conditions are poor and add a safety risk that you are not prepared for, remember it’s okay to try again another day.

3. Bring a first aid kit. Research what you will need to add to your first aid kit for children and infants. Many kits do not come with children’s medication in case of an emergency.

4. Follow the child’s lead, even as an infant. Babies are good communicators. If the child is really fussy on the trail and you feel like it is time to turn around, do not feel discouraged, it happens! Listen to the child’s needs.

5. Bring a friend! Hiking solo takes time and requires confidence. Go on hikes with a trusted friend or family member. Communicate your child’s needs with the person you are hiking with so they know what to expect. Hiking with an infant or toddler can take more time and requires patience and stops along the way. _ @nurtureinnaturemom


Kid Friendly Hiking Trails in the Greater Sudbury area:

One of the benefits of living in the North is having access to plenty of local hiking trails. There are a few factors involved when considering what trail is safe for your family. Always do your research before your hike, be sure to consider the weather, and the impact it may have on the trail conditions. It’s important to assess your skill level when choosing a trail and the ability of your child based on their age. This will help determine what hike is best suited for your family.

  1. Onaping Falls - Y. Jackson Trail

Our favourite hike to do is Onaping Falls! It's so much fun to visit in every season with so much more than just the falls! We love that there's lots of different trail options to go for shorter or longer distances and in the summertime it's perfect for taking a dip in the river at the bottom of the falls! _ @rest.less.jess

Rainbow Routes - Onaping Falls
Photo Source:

  1. Bell Park Walkway , Ramsey Lake
    As a new mom, you may want to get some fresh air and exercise but would rather stay close to home or be close to amenities. The urban walking path at Bell Park is stroller friendly, has easy access washrooms and has nice lakeside views. Plus, lots of birds and wildlife for your littles to enjoy.

Rainbowroutes - Bell Park
Photo Source:

Check out for a list of over 30 local urban and wilderness trails and trail guides. Trail Maps can also be picked up at our store (Ramakko’s Source for Adventure).

Download a KIDS ON TRAILS GUIDE to help inspire you and your family to explore the outdoors:

Backcountry Trails (by difficulty) For Parent Led Hiking With an Infant or Toddler In a Child Carrier: (Put together by @nurtureinnaturemom)

  1. EASY TO MODERATE: Lake Laurentian Conservation Area Trails
    The Lake Laurentian Conservation Area trails provide an expansive network of forest that has several hiking trails from easy to difficult terrain. The map above outlines the route we took for a breathtaking view of Lake Laurentian. Check out the Conservation Sudbury website for more details on the trail map and conditions. The Lake Laurentian trails are not accessible with a stroller. When hiking with children consider sticking to easy to moderate hikes based on skill level.

    Salina - Lake Laurentian

    Lake Laurentian Map

These trails reside on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and that the Greater City of Sudbury also includes the traditional lands of the Wahnapitae First Nation.

  1. MODERATE: Duchesnay Falls, located off Highway 17 North Bay
    This hike is not stroller friendly and requires parents to wear baby or toddler in an appropriate carrier. Always take necessary safety precautions when baby wearing on hikes depending on the season and trail conditions.

    Salina - Duchesney Falls

    Salina - Duchesney Falls Witer

    Duchesnay Falls is located on the traditional land and waterways of Anishinabek Territory on Nipissing First Nation and is protected by Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. The trail network is now owned and managed by Nipissing University and Canadore College.

    This four-season trail offers a scenic walk beside the waterfall. In the winter strap on your snowshoes and witness the falls in a new way. This popular trail offers beautiful views all year around and makes for a fun family hike. More information on Duchesnay Falls can be found via Discovery Routes website.


  2. VERY DIFFICULT: The Crack, Killarney Provincial Park
    This hike is not stroller friendly and requires parents to wear baby or toddler in an appropriate carrier. If your child is over 6 months of age and able to sit and hold their head up, I would recommend using a hard carrier, as pictured above. Always take necessary safety precautions when baby wearing on hikes depending on the season and trail conditions.

    Salina - The Crack

    Killarney Provincial Park is located about an hour from Sudbury and requires a permit for day-use. This hike is one of the most difficult and beautiful trails that we’ve done with a toddler. The Crack is an ideal trail for experienced hikers who have hiked in the backcountry with their child before, or for those who have previously hiked The Crack without children. There are many high-risk areas, such as scramble on the trail. Always do your own research prior to hiking any trail.

    Hiking The Crack with your family requires experience and planning. Check out the Ontario Parks website for more information about hiking The Crack, and how to be safe on the trail.


    Killarney Provincial Park resides on the traditional Anishinaabe territory ancestors to the Ojibwe, Odawa and Pottawatomi on Treaty No.45 (1836) and the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. (


How to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Leave No Trace:

Leave No Trace

Make a game out of it

“Making outings and adventures as fun and enjoyable as possible is a great start to teaching your kids to love the outdoors and the importance of Leave no Trace principles. One way I teach my son the importance of staying on the designated trail is by playing a trail marker game. Spotting, Counting & touching the trail markers as we stay on the designated trail helps to keep him on track & we reduce the chance of wandering off trail & squishing any bordering vegetation.” _ @jana_b_anana

Lead by example
“As my daughter grows, I'm increasingly focused on instilling in her a deep respect for nature, while allowing her to explore in the uninhibited manner of a typical toddler. I do my best to lead by example and be a positive role model while encouraging her curiosity of the outdoors every step of the way!” - @rest.less.jess

Practice  “Leave it better than we found it”
“When hiking with infants and toddlers at a young age, it’s about building a bond together, and sharing our respect, appreciation and gratitude for the many gifts Mother Nature provides for us. We teach our child “Leave it Better Than You Found It” by safely picking up any garbage that we see, and packing out everything we bring on the trail, even apple cores and orange peels. Why? From infancy our children are watching us! This is why it’s important to teach them to respect the forest and wildlife by picking up after ourselves and helping to maintain the trails.” _ @nurtureinnaturemom

Honour nature by understanding that where we live and play is on Native land
“This means actively listening to the stories of the people whose land we stand on by accepting our humility when learning from Indigenous peoples who have taken care of the land for time immemorial. This also includes understanding the meaning of allyship and acknowledging Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing with respect for the traditional land and treaties. In this way, we can learn how to best conserve, protect, respect and enjoy nature together.” _ @nurtureinnaturemom


Final Tips:

“Always pack more snacks and water than you think you’ll need. Lots of healthy and hydrating snacks are obviously great but some smarties or special treats are a great motivator if you’re struggling to complete a trail or get back to the car.” _ @jana_b_anana

“Being outside is where I feel most like myself which is why it felt natural to continue spending time outside and sharing that with my kiddo!” ­_ @rest.less.jess

“Most important of all, getting outdoors with children isn’t easy, but it does build wonderful memories and strengthens family connections. Try to remember that time spent outdoors can be whatever you make it, from easy to difficult hiking trails or neighbourhood walks and park visits, get out there and have some fun!” _ @nurtureinnaturemom


Happy Mother’s Day to all!

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