Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mojonavalle. The J sounds like an H.

Two summers ago, we went on a wonderful hiking trip in Northern Spain. More about that another day. Thanks to the success of that trip, we decided we wanted to make a concerted effort to hike as a family on a regular basis. This meant looking for some options closer to home. Naturally, I found a book. Excursions for Children in the Sierra of Madrid would be the title in English. Today´s review is the first hike we tried from the book. 

The Mojonavalle Forest. The name sounded promising, the specs looked good, but it can be hard to impress a Canadian with a forest, so I wasn´t expecting too much. Un magnífico bosque! Vegetación exuberante! Cascadas! claimed the book. While this is no hike in the Rockies, it is definitely worthy of all the exclamation marks. My only complaint was that it was crowded at first. But, pick a summer-like day in November, and a destination an hour from Madrid, and in wild mushroom season, and it´s bound to happen. 
just lovely!
This is a good half-day hike, around 6km, with lots of places to stop and play in the woods. The trail started in a parking lot that made mall parking at Christmas seem easy. After we parked (Tall Guy is a parking genius), we crossed the highway and started to climb immediately through a forested area with lots of fragrant pines, and some ruins (yay!) of old foraging shelters. There wasn´t really a path to follow until the terrain leveled out, and then we could have even taken Baby in his stroller! A wide, smooth, dirt track led us by a lookout and a hiking shelter. There were lots of interesting boulder formations dotting the path. 

Once at the shelter, we would have had to ditch the stroller. The path narrowed but was still well maintained, and that´s when things got beautiful. Golden leaves, verdant pines, shimmery bark, singing streams... there are few things I enjoy more than a walk in the woods. By this point, the crowds had thinned out, and by the time we got to the waterfall, we had it all to ourselves. We took Baby out to splash in the water. He is a great little hiking companion!

There is a recreation area at the parking lot, so we could have packed a picnic, but instead we drove to nearby Miraflores and sampled some dishes prepared with different varieties of wild mushrooms. Mmmmmm!


  1. I like this idea of hiking as a family on a regular basis and starting while your little one is young. Wild mushrooms have so much flavour. Have you ever gone picking mushrooms?

    1. Yes! We really wanted Baby to be used to being outside and to cultivate a love of nature, as well as develop a shared family past time. So far, it seems to be working!

      We went mushroom picking once, with a friend of my inlaws who knows what you can and can´t eat. Although if you didn´t have a friend-guide, you could always take your mushrooms to a pharmacy, where a pharmacist will check them over for you. How cool is that?