Adventures with my husband and littles are my favorite, especially when we're exploring one of my favorite places on earth. McConnells Mill State Park in Pennsylvania. It's a place filled with evergreen trees, rocks bigger than houses, a rushing river, ferns and moss everywhere. It looks more like you stepped into a forest in the pacific northwest than somewhere in Pennsylvania. I've always had a bit of an obsession with the PNW which is probably why I love this particular state park so much.

I fell in love with McConnells Mill State Park when my husband took me out there a few months after we got married. It was in the autumn, the trees were so colorful and it was just gorgeous, so now of course I'm always trying to talk him into another trip out there every chance I can. We've been many times, in the spring, summer and autumn, but never in winter... until now.

On President's Day we had a blue sky filled with sunshine, a whole chicken with carrots and potatoes in the oven, and 3 hours to kill while said chicken roasted. I said "why don't we go out to McConnells Mill" and much to my happiness, he thought it was a great idea.

We grabbed our hiking boots on, hats and cardigans on the kids, a baby carrier, a reusable water bottle, a bottle of rice milk for Bodhi, Bella's little adventure backpack and her wood and glass magnifying lens (one of her favorite Christmas gifts, we got at Lil Bellies), the diaper bag, snacks, the camera, and of course ourselves haha, and headed out the door.

We got there and thankfully were able to grab the last parking spot that was close by (there's only 4 parking spots nearby, you have to walk down a HUGE hill if you park in the main parking lot) and headed off on our adventure. Unfortunately we didn't get very far on the main trail that we typically go on since it got icy pretty quickly, if it had been just Frank and I, we may have tried to to further, but to err on the side of caution since we had the kids with us, we decided to head back and check out some areas we had never explored close up before.

It was the best decision ever. I've always wanted to get a closer look at these areas and we finally got a chance to! We found the coolest rock formations, indentations in rocks that were so unique, the most beautiful ferns and moss, and moss that was covered in a thick blanket of ice with ferns growing out of it, trees growing out of rocks, icicles as big as an adult human, little spaces and cave-like spots to crawl into and under in rocks bigger than houses, icicles that looked like a frozen waterfall, carvings in rocks from the 1930s, spaces where rocks had split apart that you could walk into, and so much more. It was just awesome.

Bella had such a blast, she was clamoring up and over giant rocks, hiking up hills, climbing into the cave-like places we found, pretend ice skating on frozen puddles, inspecting things with her magnifying glass, picking up pieces of giant icicles. She was in her element for sure, she loves being in nature and it was awesome so see how fearless she was and all the things she was brave enough to do completely unprompted!

Bodhi loved it too, he stayed in the ring sling most of the time because there were lots of cliffs he could easily fall from and since he's fast and pretty much runs everywhere at full speed, I wasn't taking any chances. I did take him out once for a photo on a mossy rock, he was pretty happy about that. He was fascinated by the gigantic rock formations and wanted to touch lots of them. We also seen some dogs that people were walking so that also kind of made his day haha, he loves animals.

Bella is already asking to go back again, and I can't wait to go back again too (and definitely with Bodhi in a back carrier next time instead of a ring sling lol)! It's the most beautiful place and there is always something new to see and discover. That's the best thing about nature, no matter how many times you visit the same place, you'll always notice something new and fascinating.

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