Posted: January 8, 2021

Many years ago my wife and I started a family walk in the forest we owned with our four small children. In the course of the walk they asked many questions about the forest and we tried to answer the questions as best we could. When we completed the walk and went back to the house, we ended our family adventure by treating the children to pizza.

Alfred Kline (front center) joined this year's walk with family members at a wheelchair-accessible county park near his home in Cambria County. He encourages all Pennsylvanians to make a family walk in the forest a tradition, whether on your land or in a state or local park. Photo provided by the Kline family.

Alfred Kline (front center) joined this year's walk with family members at a wheelchair-accessible county park near his home in Cambria County. He encourages all Pennsylvanians to make a family walk in the forest a tradition, whether on your land or in a state or local park. Photo provided by the Kline family.

We did the walk for many years until those four little children grew into adults. They married and their spouses joined us on the walks. Then they had children and they joined our walk too. We are now on our fourth generation with over 40 family members joining us each year on the family walk in the forest.

We take many pictures throughout the day of the picnic and walk so my daughter, Denise, can make a little memory book to remember our day. On Christmas day, she gives me the book which contains many pictures and memories from our walk. That little memory book creates a lot of interest in our household each Christmas. Thanks, Denise.

Three years ago my wife passed away. She was the matriarch of the family walk. She saw to it that it happened each year. As for myself, at the age of 92 and with failing health, I have not been able to participate in the walk for several years. The family came up with an idea that enabled me to join in the walk this past October. They found a park that had picnic facilities plus paved walking trails through the forest. With our bellies full from our picnic lunch, we set out for this year's walk through the forest with family members pushing me in a wheelchair. I was so thankful I was able to join all the family members this year. Thanks to all!!!

On our return to the picnic area we took more time for family togetherness and then made plans for the next year's family walk in the forest so everyone can keep the date open on their calendars.

The good thing about this walk is that any family can start this tradition. There are state parks all over Pennsylvania with picnic pavilions and walking trails through the forests. Use these or your own facilities for your walk. I bet my boots once you participate in a walk, it will become a tradition every year.

I want to thank Forest Leaves for the space provided for this article with the hope that many other families will do the same each year in October. This article is two-fold. It gives our forests the due respect that they deserve and, in doing so, enhances family togetherness for stronger family ties in the future.

I hope you enjoy your family walk in the forest in October. Thank you!

Alfred Kline's family has owned forest property in Cambria County for over 70 years. He has raised his family there and they continue to steward the forest well.

Contact Information

Barb Sellers
  • Administrative Support Assistant

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802