by Lori Lite

Let’s just say that hiking, kayaking, canoeing and fly-fishing are not normally in my wheelhouse. However, after overcoming my aversion to sweating,
I jumped into my chest high waders with a smile on my face and hope in my heart. The Adirondacks offer visually stunning and diverse landscapes for all levels. A place for me to challenge myself, reflect, breathe, de-stress, and see how family outdoor activities reduce stress.

outdoor activities reduce stressHere are a few not so obvious benefits of hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing:

Strengthen Family Bonds: Taking siblings out of their familiar day to day surroundings can promote working together and interacting in new ways. Mom and Dad paddling a canoe are sure to provide various scenarios that the kids will laugh at and talk about for years to come. Creating memories and family stories strengthens family bonds. Children with strong, happy, loving family connections are better equipped to handle daily stressors. Thanks to Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters for equipping me up for a day of canoeing.

Build Self-Esteem: Hiking is a wonderful way for children to see that they are capable. St. Lawrence County in the Adirondacks offers trails for all levels. It is important to note that there are beginner trails that actually lead to waterfalls. Show a child they can hike to a waterfall and you show them they have unlimited potential. Children with their self-esteem intact are less likely to be stressed out. My hike up Mount Arab culminated with a climb to the top of the abandoned Fire Tower Station. Thanks to my New York State licensed bird guide Joan Collins.

outdoor activities reduce stress


Increases Responsibility: Children experience responsibility when they are taught to pack and carry their own backpacks. A new sense of ownership and responsibility is achieved the minute they reach in for their snack or water. Added bonus: Mom and dad start to feel human instead of feeling like a pack mule. Children that feel capable and have some sense of self-reliance feel grounded and less anxious. Thanks to Holly Pelland of Boomerang Kayak and Bike rental for my 1000 Island experience.

Expand Imagination: Traveling, interacting with new people, and connecting with nature all help children to expand their imaginations. A sense of wonder parlays into inspired learning, creating, seeking, and living. Fishing is the perfect opportunity for children to use their imaginations, practice patience, and spark conversations. Create imaginative stories by asking your child conversation starting questions. “What do you think the fish are doing under the water?” If you were a fish and you saw the bait, what would you do?” What color fish would you be? Thanks to my Orvis endorsed guide Ken of Kalil’s Upstate Outfitters for teaching me to fly fish on the AuSable River in the Adirondacks.

outdoor activities reduce stress

Taking the time and putting effort into a weekend, week, or few hour adventure is invaluable. “Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also , by the way, in our own). ~ Richard Louv

Many thanks to ROOST- Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism for sponsoring this trip. I experienced NY from a completely different perspective. All opinions in my post are my own.

For more on my adventure look for Stress Free Kids using hash tag #EatPlayLoveNY on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube

Other sites to help you plan your adventure:

Wild Center and Wild Walk

Adirondack Museum

Fort Ticonderoga


Lori Lite is a content focused blogger, parenting expert, author, Twitter expert, and founder of Stress Free Kids. She is passionate about helping like hearted entrepreneurs bring their message, product, event, or travel destination to parents. Lori’s award winning books received national attention on Shark Tank and her sort after accessible tips have been featured in hundreds of publications to include: CNN Living, Real Simple Magazine, USA Today, Family Circle, Working Mother Magazine, and Web MD. Lori’s constant upbeat presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest make her a real-time resource for anyone seeking practical advice for stress free living.