Top 5 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails
Amid our everyday busy lives, we often couldn’t find time to get close to mother nature. Taking a break from the loud city noises and the crowd even for a few days brings peace and clarity to our minds. And what better way to spend some nature time than a lovely and memorable hiking trip with your family and friends?
Sounds wonderful to you? Great! But before you start packing your bags, it’s really important to plan your destination. For making your vacation one for the books, you should choose a hiking trail that doesn’t upset your little ones. Distance and difficulty can make a huge difference between adventure and disaster. Today, in this article, we will be looking into the top 5 family-friendly hiking trails in the US. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.
1. Robert H. Treman Upper Gorge Trail
Walking distance: 0.62 miles
Location: New York
by: John Rozell: NYS Parks Recreation
Situated at the heart of the country, Robert H. Treman Park has so much to offer from swimming pools to picnic spots and of course, hiking trails. There are several trails for hiking providing a vivid experience each and every time. You can experience the beauty of the gorges and numerous waterfalls on your journey. You will also find a natural swimming pool on the bed of the eastern waterfall.
From the wide range of trails, the upper gorge trail is the most popular among tourists. It does not have any steep edges and the hiking distance is relatively small. If you want to travel the whole gorge trail, it would be 2.25 miles but, gradually you will come across several steep slopes. For fantasy lovers, this is a great hiking spot as it also resembles the set of the “Lord of the Rings” movie.
The upper gorge trail leads to the Lucifer falls which is one of the main attractions of the park. On your hiking trail, you will also find plenty of restrooms and other facilities. If you have time and want to explore more, you can also come across several cabins with an interesting history of their own. Robert H. Treman is a beautiful and interesting place to spend a small summer vacation with your family and kids.
2. Lake Tahoe Fallen Leaf Trail
Walking distance: 3.604 miles
Location: Sierra Nevada
Let’s say you want to get a little away from the hustle and bustle of New York and spend your vacation someplace quiet. Well, in that case, Lake Tahoe is just the right place for you. Lake Tahoe stands as the biggest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest lake in the United States. Much of the adjacent region of this beautiful lake is a place of tourist attraction. Ski resorts, golf courses, and even casinos can be found on the outskirts.
Lake Tahoe is a lovely place for hiking, having many trails ranging from easy to difficult. One of the most popular and family-friendly trails is the Fallen Leaf Trail. As the name suggests, this trail is ideal to be visited during the autumn season when the place gets filled with heaps of leaves. You can experience a stunning view of the surroundings while walking through the pine forests. There are also plenty of spots to rest and recently some restaurants have also opened up due to tourist demands.
If you wish, you can also bring your canine friend with you as Fallen Leaf Trail is dog-friendly as well. During the day, you can also go parasailing, jet skiing, and even fishing. At night, you can sit by the lakeside with your family enjoying the view and feeling the calm breeze. Sounds like a fairytale, which you would want to be a part of.
3. Niagara Falls Rim Trail Gorge Hiking Trail
Walking distance: 3.481 miles
Location: New York
The sound of the waterfall, the soft chirping of the birds, the creaking of the crickets, all add up to make a lovely atmosphere for a journey down memory lane. We all are familiar with Niagara falls but many of us haven’t got the chance to experience its scenic beauty. Combining the three waterfalls, Niagara falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall. It acts as a great source of tourist attraction and millions of tourists throughout the year come to enjoy this marvelous wonder of nature. Casinos, luxurious hotels, picnic spots, hiking trails, and many kinds of water sports and cruise ship trips are enjoyed by the tourists every year.
Like any other popular hiking spot, Niagara Gorge also has many different trails and routes to offer. The Rim Trail starts at the Devil’s Hole parking area and from then, you can start your walking journey. If you want to shorten the walking distance, you can park closer to Niagara Falls. The trail goes through the hardwood forests with the Whirlpool State Park lying in between the route. It is an easy and flat trail allowing you to enjoy the lovely natural surroundings with your family.
Your pet friend is also welcome on this journey with you. From your hiking trail, you can watch riverboats soaring up and down the rapids. If you have time and some willingness, you might pay a visit to the nearby gift shops offering a bunch of interesting goodies.
4. Silver Falls State Park Ten Falls Loop Trail
Walking distance: 7.23 miles
The “crown jewel” of Oregon won’t miss out on our list. Silver Falls State Park, located in Salem, Oregon has a natural reserve of treasure of its own. Breathtaking landscapes to beautiful waterfalls, along with different recreational activities, Silver Falls has everything to showcase. There are many waterfalls in the park and the Remote Double Falls, being the highest. However, the most visited waterfall is South Falls.
The Ten Falls Loop is indeed most loved by the tourists as it receives the highest number of visitors every year. This trail is a tour of Silver Creek Canyon passing a total of ten lovely major waterfalls in the journey. From the name, you can guess that it is a roundtrip and you will be able to experience all the beautiful waterfalls of the park. However, if you want to shorten the trip, you can take the Maple Ridge Loop which is a family-friendly hiking trail as well.
The Park has many spacious lawns, barbecue stands, picnic spots, and the best part is you can go horse riding as well. For water activities, boating trips, fishing, and swimming are worth mentioning. There’s a playground for your kids and you will also find tent sites, RV spots, and even cabins for spending the night after a long, tiring yet memorable day.
5. Kenai Fjords National Park Exit Glacier View Loop Trail
Walking distance: 0.994
When your kids are still young, it’s good to take them on a trip to Alaska as many of us don’t get to experience the gentle elegance of the snow-covered land. Kenai Fjords National Park is home to the Harding Icefield which is one of the largest ice fields in the country. Out of the 38 glaciers present in that field, the largest is the Bear Glacier. Being a popular tourist destination, there are several hiking trails in the park. The park is infested with multiple wildlife species including both terrestrial and marine mammals.
The Exit Glacier View Loop Trail is one of the simplest yet most beautiful trails of the park. The best time for hiking is obviously for summer but in winter, you can also enjoy several sports like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobile riding. On your hiking trail, you can behold the glorious scenic beauty of the park along with the different wildlife species roaming around in the forests and lakes. Camping spots, picnic tables, restrooms, and other services are available easily in the park.
Bike riding is allowed on the Exit Glacier Road however on hiking trails, bikes and pets are not allowed. You will also find several bookstores in the area. A friendly snowball fight can be a pretty fun way to have a good time with your family.
Here we have come to the end of this article. Finding the perfect family-friendly hiking trail can be a bit of a challenge sometimes especially when going out with your family. We hope that this article will help you to find your dream holiday destination and will give you an idea about the dos and don’ts. If you are going out with your kids, don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks with you. Happy Holidays!
About the Author:
Hussain from “hikersneeds” is a passionate hiker and traveler that love the outdoor and enjoys what nature has to give, whenever he can he love to write and give tips & honest reviews to help others get out there and just seek more unforgettable experiences