Mamatoga Review: Go Take a Hike! (in Saratoga Spa State Park)

The tagline for Saratoga Spa State Park is "The Public's Resort", and it couldn't be more true. As Saratogians (and Mamatogians!) we are so lucky to have this beautiful park in our backyard full of activities to enjoy year round. As far as summertime goes, you can hike, bike, run, walk, play tennis, go to one of the two public pools, golf, eat at Catherine's, go to the baths and spa, visit Gideon Putnam or the Homemade Theater or the Hall of Springs, the National Dance Museum or the Automobile Museum or see a perfomance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Whew, that is a lot of stuff. Luckily for you (and my typing fingers) I won't be covering all those options in this particular post, the blog will cover each of these individually but today I just want to talk about one of the many free activities you can do with the kids and that is to take a nice walk/hike. The kids like to call it hiking but it really is more of an easy walk. This is something you can do with kids (and dogs!) of all ages and is obviously great exercise for the whole family. At least once a week we take the kids and dog to the park for a walk, and our favorite place to start is by the sulfur mound by the SPAC entrance by the bridge. Alongside the mound there is series of small steps cut in and we carefully make our way down and throw the tennis ball into the stream alongside it for our extremely energetic chocolate lab. These little stairs always remind me of the "giant stairs" cut into the slope of Palisade Interstate Park where I used to go for walks with my family as a kid growing up in New Jersey. This past time we went down the little steps we met about six other dogs (all breaking the rules mind you, dogs are supposed to be leashed at all times in the park, but it was 90 degrees and that water was so cool so...) and there was quite the little party with them all jumping in and thoroughly enjoying themselves. After the park ranger dispersed our little outlaw group we leashed the dog and made our way down the path alongside the stream. It's a beautiful path, shaded over by trees with plenty of space to have the kids and dog without feeling like you're going to go into the stream. Crossing the road you come up to a big area that has tons of picnic tables and a public bathroom and a small playground which is usually our turning around point. By the time we pry the kids off of the playground they are getting tired out and have just enough energy to take the walk back up. Now you don't have to walk back up (or down for that matter) alongside the sulfur mound, there is a road that goes alongside the stream as well and you can walk down to the stream and see the little geyser from there as well, which isn't far from the road that intersects the park. This is only one of a ton of different hikes and walks you can go on, and it works perfectly for us with the three year old, four year old and dog in tow. Let us know of your favorite walks and activities in the park and stay tuned to the blog for lots more reviews of this special Saratoga location!

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