Llama hiking: A growing family activity on the Connecticut trails

Destination New England

Note: This story was recorded and written before the coronavirus pandemic

NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s exploring with a twist! Welcome to the wild, wooly world of Llama Hiking.

“It started off more on the West Coast and it has been spreading,” says A.J. Collier of Rowanwood Farm, who owns the only licensed llama hiking company in the state. “I have Bolivian, Chilean, Peruvian and Argentinian mini-llamas.”

She preps guests for an adventure before we meet our exercise buddies, where we learn more about our 200 pound companions before taking to a trail at Sticks and Stones Farm.

“It’s a beautiful location and the people here are very nature minded,” says Collier.

The llamas see a stream and take a dip! So, why stroll with a llama, you ask? Simply – it’s fun!

“They’re very calming and they sense your energy and they’re very alert,” says Collier. “In the forest, they can show you things on the trails you may not be aware of.”

Llamas are like your family dog. They’re friendly, loyal companions and they really need exercise. So, they love this walk through the woods.

“I really like it because it’s a way to get people back into nature, with an animal and away from technology for awhile,” says Collier who is expecting a busy fall full of hikes for adults and children, ages 8 and up. Her young volunteers say kids are enchanted.

“I just love how they’re so unique and they’re just like people,” says 14-year-old Sarah Walsh. “I really love that about them.”

“We have some llamas who get mad, some that are always happy, some that are dramatic,” says Jack Wendel.

Never a dull moment while wandering with a furry friend! “Just to spend a day with a llama and have fun and be outdoors in nature and learn about these animals is an unforgettable experience,” says Collier.

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