Traveling with family to a National or a State park can be tricky if they don’t offer kid friendly hikes. One of the most common activities in these natural escapes is hiking or biking on the trails. However, the level of fitness required by these is not always desired when you are traveling with young children.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy nature’s bounty with your family. You can still have the best outdoor adventure you can think of. Many parks have kid friendly hikes. These can be forest trails or mountain trails or even ground trails. So, let us explore some such trails.
Red mountain park
Situated in Alabama, this area was originally an ore mining ground in the late 1800s. It remained so for more than 100 years but now it is converted into an adventure park with many family activities and kid friendly hikes. They have longer trails for adventure enthusiasts and shorter ones for kids and families.
You can go ziplining, tower climbing and mountain biking. There is a dog park, and rope bridges to give you a close to nature experience. The region is full of mining stories and stellar stone formations to please your curiosity.
There are guided tours available to understand the historical significance of the region. A great family fun time is guaranteed here. For more such spots to visit in the state, check out our comprehensive list of Alabama road trip destinations now!
Starved Rock State Park
Enveloping beautiful waterfalls and sandstone canyons, this state park in Illinois offers jaw dropping beauty to its visitors. There are all sorts of guided tours available here including trolley tours, river cruises, and guided hikes. Apart from that, it has great music tribute shows and several shopping, dining, and spa options. This is an ultimate mix of adventure and relaxing family time.
This region offers 13 miles of hiking trails and some of these are definitely kid friendly hikes. However, it is more suitable for slightly older children for example 10-years or above. They can hold their hiking paraphernalia on their own and can easily walk through some of the muddy and slippery regions. Do not take younger children and always hold their hands while walking. Some trails are not stroller friendly, so it’s definitely not for kids who need a ride.
This is one of the most visited family destinations. It can be reached in one hour or so from Mount Rushmore. Therefore, it is naturally one of the most popular kid friendly hikes. The trails are short and therefore easier for families. Most of the trails are close to four miles long but are mostly uphill. Full of shady trees and waterfalls, the region offers one of the most scenic views in South Dakota. It is a peaceful escape from the warm temperatures of the state.
You can take the scenic drive to the Bridal falls or enjoy the preserved western town of High Plains. Here you will see the western heritage, cowboys, music and comedy at the Country Jamboree show, and much more. This is a unique family destination full of fun, food, and entertainment.
One of the most attractive spots for hiking and skiing at the western shore of the US is Lake Tahoe. This region offers trails for all abilities. Covered by pine trees on both sides, it is a lovely Caribbean like adventure. There are so many kid friendly hikes available here that you can have the best family time ever.
Rubicon Trail, Tahoe Meadows, Eagle lake and what not! Most of these trails are for kids of age 4 and above while some are recommended for all ages. These are short trails close to two to three miles long and therefore not very tiring. You may also want to book a condo at the Squaw Creek, which is 15 minutes away from the Lake.
There are kiddie pools, water slides, horseback riding, and much more to keep the kids entertained. Naturally, this is the most popular family destinations in California.
Turkey Run State Park
Indiana offers a wonderful family recreation that is spread across 2500 acres. It is full of campsites, campgrounds, picnic areas, and much more. Popular activities include horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, swimming, and hiking.
There are close to 11 hikes here, for different difficulty levels. Some of these are kid friendly hikes too. Others are very rugged. Trail 11 is said to be the easiest one and is only 0.5 miles long. Others are more rugged but still kid friendly. The only precaution needed is during the wet season. Most of the trails are one to three miles long.
One of the most attractive historic sites here is the Narrow covered bridge over Sugar creek built-in 1882. Enjoy the sandstone gorges and breath-taking natural beauty with your family. It is an adventure of a lifetime.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Colorado offers the most diverse natural escape in the US. The white sand dunes are as high as 700 feet. Families can have a blast here. You and your children can run or roll down in the sand. There are many unique activities here such as sand sledding, sandboarding, dune buggying, and much more. The only drawback is the scorching heat in the summer months. So plan your vacation accordingly.
The region offers varied ecosystems including grasslands, creeks, wetlands, alpine lakes, forests, and dune of course, so, you can have all kinds of adventures here. Children can go water tubing in the creeks too. It is worth a visit on your next family vacation.
Devils Tower National Monument
This is Wyoming’s single most attractive places apart from the Yellowstone National Park. The rock monument is 867 feet high and looks like an absolute beauty at the sunset in the periwinkle sky. There is a 2.8-mile trail loop to look at the solidified ancient volcano from 360 degrees.
There are several track adventures organized in this region for kids. These include Lichen finding hike, animal athlete, and nature’s hide and seek hike. These are of moderate difficulty and so suitable for kids of 10 years and above. The loop trail is suitable for all ages. The most interesting track adventure is the animal athlete. In this, kids can choose from six animals and race against them. These animals include hummingbirds and lizards too.
Acadia National Park
Situated in Maine, it is the state’s most visited national park. It has 50 miles of carriage roads good for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and much more. These are stroller friendly so families with kids who can’t walk are welcome here.
There are a total of 17 stone bridges in the region that can be seen from the carriage road. You can try the Park loop road or the Sand beach. Children love making sandcastles at the beach. Adults can enjoy the sun and get a tan. If they love looking at the diverse sea creatures, take your kids to the wonderland hike.
The park is an ultimate amalgamation of beauty and wildlife. It is fun, adventurous, and educational time with family. There are restaurants in the national park where you can have a scrumptious meal while hiking.
Petrified Forest National Park
Both Utah and Arizona offer Petrified Forest National Parks. These forests are unique because the trees have solidified over the years and have been made into desert land. The petrified wood gives a stony texture to the monuments here.
The trails are short here and therefore most appropriate for kid friendly hikes. These will not take you more than 30 to 40 minutes to cover. You may get a glimpse of salt crystals in the petrified woods. The Utah forest also gives you a glimpse into the remains of the Pueblo civilization and mesas.
These can be an enriching experience for children and adults alike. You can have a look at fossils and understand the history of the region.
Wrapping up our suggestions of kid friendly hikes.
Each state has several kid-friendly hikes to choose from. Just make sure your child is old enough to go on a particular hike. Some hikes might not be stroller friendly so don’t take children who have not started walking yet. However, be careful in muddy or wet seasons because hikes can get very slippery, so you’ll want to wear proper shoes while hiking. Always carry something to munch on while hiking with children.
These are only some hikes that you simply can’t miss when traveling to these states. However, there are many more national parks each offering amazing views and awesome trails. Check out proper lodging options on various listing websites such as the rentaltrader.com.
Once you have decided on your vacation destination, do call the national park authorities and confirm whether the trails are kid friendly or not. You don’t want to end up being disappointed. For any more information on more hiking suggestions, feel free to fill our web form or give us a call.