Second edition hiking volume reaches new generations, routes
By Leigh Hornbeck
Rose Rivezzi and David Trithart were the parents of two young boys when they wrote the first edition of their “Kids on the Trail!” guidebook for hiking with children in the Adirondacks. This summer, they celebrated the arrival of the second edition with their granddaughter, Alice Mountain Trithart. The book is dedicated to her and other hikers of her generation.
The books, both published by the Adirondack Mountain Club, were written to guide parents toward hikes that would be challenging, but not overwhelming for children (and anyone looking for a rewarding but not too strenuous hike), with fun sights along the way and a view to see at the top. The authors divided the park into eight sections for the first book and included 62 hikes. For the second edition, Andrea Masters—their editor at ADK—asked them to reorganize the hikes into four regions in keeping with the Club’s ADK-National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps and Forest Preserve Series guides.
The book is now divided into Western Trails, High Peaks Trails and Eastern Trails.
There’s a challenge at the end of the book, and children can receive a patch from the ADK Laurentian Chapter if they complete four hikes from each section. The patch was created from a picture of a hiking boot that Albert Trithart drew on a Mother’s Day card while his parents were writing the first book, published in 1997. The new edition contains 71 trails, each with a map, difficulty rating, and description.
Many contain snippets of advice, as well. For example, tips on how to handle frogs found along the way follows the entry for LampsonsFalls. Rivezzi and Trithart live in Potsdam, where Rivezzi, a retired school teacher, has a second career as the co-owner of Big Spoon Kitchen with her son Will. She and Trithart re-evaluated every hike featured in the first edition of “Kids on the Trail,” and removed about a dozen. Some, like Mount Jo and Pitchoff in the High Peaks region, came out because the authors feel the area is already overwhelmed with visitors.
Others, like the Brewster Peninsula trails and Cod Pond, were dropped because they haven’t been well maintained over the years. The authors deemed Jenkins Mountain too long at 9 miles round-trip. The second edition includes trails the couple didn’t consider years ago or that didn’t exist when Rivezzi and Trithart were hiking with Albert, then 10, and Will, 8. They added Moxham Mountain in Minerva, Anthony’s Nose (near Ticonderoga) and Amy’s Park, part of the Lake George Land Conservancy. One of Rivezzi’s favorite new additions is Wildway Overlook at South Boquet Mountain, “a sweet little hike, with a narrow and interesting trail and a view of Lake Champlain.”
The best part of the second edition for the authors was the feedback from their sons. In the introduction, Albert Trithart writes, “A childhood of hiking stays with you, no matter where you end up.” And Will writes that his “upbringing as a ‘kid on the trail’ made me who I am,” and goes on to describe how he loves watching the wonder in his daughter’s eyes as she sees something new on the trail.
“As a parent, you think you are making the right choices, but you never know how your children view them,” Rivezzi said. “To see what they wrote, it was my favorite part.”