Family time undoubtedly plays an important factor in strengthening the relationship between family members. As parents, it is vital that we spend quality time with our little ones despite our busy schedules. One of the best ways to do that is by exploring the great outdoors. Taking your kids on a hiking trip will teach them the importance of caring for our environment and allow you to have meaningful conversations with them while basking in the stillness and beauty of nature. Here are some of the best child-friendly hiking trails you can explore with your family.
Hanging Lake (Glenwood Springs, Colorado)
Located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Hanging Lake is regarded as one of the most popular and touristy hiking destinations in the United States. The trail can be a bit challenging, especially for small children, but it is a relatively short hike that leads up to one of the most stunning lakes in Colorado. The rocky and steep hiking trail starts from the Glenwood Canyon Bike and Pedestrian Path and ends at two waterfalls that sparkle with beautiful shades of blue and green. The Grizzly Creek fire almost destroyed this famed hiking spot, but thankfully it remained unharmed.
The Narrows (Zion National Park, Utah)
If you have older children, The Narrows is arguably one of the best trails to hike. It is located at the Zion National Park in Utah. Most hikers usually begin at the Temple of Sinawava through the Riverside Walk, going upstream then back to the starting point. If you enjoy swimming in warm waters, it would be best to hike The Narrows in the late spring or during the summer. However, make sure you take precautionary measures as life-threatening flash floods are common during these seasons.
Pikes Peak (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is another popular hiking destination for families. Best suited for older kids, this well-known tourist attraction can be a demanding yet visually stunning trail as it is a 13.5-mile uphill climb with more than 7,400 vertical feet in elevation. If you plan to explore Pikes Peak, make sure that everyone in your family is healthy and physically fit. Your kids will definitely have a challenging hike while enjoying the landscape and mountain scenery. It also has a visitor center and offers a cog railway experience to its visitors.
Stanbery Park (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Stanbery Park in Cincinnati features one of the most extensive hiking trails in the city. Your kids can experience nature at its finest as the park also offers picnic shelters, a playground, and a sledding hill. The park is easily accessible, which means you and your family can revisit as many times as you want. Those who have experienced Stanbery Park would agree that it is one of the best places to go trail running and hiking.
Lily Marsh Trail (Ponderosa State Park, McCall, Idaho)
Lily Marsh Trail is also an excellent hiking option for your family. Your kids will enjoy hiking the approximately two-and-a-half miles of mostly shaded trail as it features lush forests, boggy marshes, and beautiful and scenic views of Payette Lake. This trek can be an excellent opportunity for your children to appreciate nature and help them strengthen their bones and muscles. Make sure to check out the bushes while hiking, as some say that it sometimes contains juicy trailside snacks.
Aside from hiking, you and your family can also enjoy camping at the Ponderosa State Park and have a great time swimming in Payette Lake. Lily Marsh Trail is a great choice for hiking with your adventurous little ones who love to swim and be one with nature.
Upper Gorge Trail (Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York)
Another hiking spot you should consider exploring is Upper Gorge Trail, situated in Ithaca, New York. Families who are passionate about hiking will surely enjoy exploring this trail. The hiking attraction will give your family a fun and unique experience of hiking through cascading waterfalls.
You and your kids can also enjoy the Lucifer Falls overlook, which has a stunning view of Enfield Creek. This moderate hike is suitable for both older and younger kids, but it is still vital you stay alert of elevation changes throughout the trail. The Upper Gorge Trail reportedly has fewer visitors. Keep in mind that going to these amazing places needs planning and preparation. It is essential that you check your vehicle beforehand and remember to use top quality car seats for your children.
Nothing can beat a fun and adventurous time with your family while exploring the beauty of nature. With proper planning, you can provide your kids with an unforgettable experience and create precious memories that they can treasure for a lifetime.