Kids nowadays spend much of their time buried in technology, an iPhone seemingly glued to their hands. Let’s rethink this. Spending some time outdoors with nature can be immensely powerful for children’s development.
An outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy is hiking. However, finding the best hikes for kids can be a bit tricky. The trail has to be safe and not too difficult, but at the same time, it should be interesting enough to keep the young ones engaged.
With all the amazing places in the US, finding the best kid-friendly trails is more difficult than you might think. To help you save time in your research, we’ll share with you the top family hiking trails that you should definitely consider.
The 5 Best Hikes for Kids in the United States
1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota
Let's start with something more familiar. The kids have probably already seen this — four gigantic heads of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln up on the mountain. It's no question that anyone will be impressed with Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
However, if you want to get a closer view, hike the Presidential Trail, which approaches the base of the mountain. For the best experience for your kids, rent audio wands for a narrated tour and learn more about the fascinating history and creation of this iconic monument.
2. Lower Yosemite Fall Trail at the Yosemite National Park in California
While the other hikes within Yosemite National Park are a bit challenging and exhausting, the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail is one of the best hikes for kids. The elevation gain of the one-mile hike is only 50 feet and the views are absolutely mesmerizing.
The base of the Lower Yosemite Fall spans 320 feet and is part of the Yosemite Falls, which is the highest waterfall in North America with a height of 2,425 feet. While this hiking trail is open all year, spring and early summer are the best times to visit.
3. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado
On the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the tallest sand dunes in the US. With heights reaching over 700 feet and with the entire field spanning across 30 square miles, kids and kids at heart can run up the sand dunes and slide down again.
However, it's important to keep in mind that the sand gets pretty hot during the summer, so be cautious. You might consider using flat-bottomed plastic sleds, skis, or snowboards for a fun experience. The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado can be explored any time as long as you don't destroy the vegetation.
If you want to cool off and relax, the nearby Medano Creek is the perfect spot.
4. Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming
Considered by the Native Americans as a sacred place, this site in northeastern Wyoming is another worthwhile place to visit for a hike. The Devils Tower, which rises 867 feet high, is made up of solidified magma of an ancient volcano and was designated as the first national monument of the US in 1906.
Originally, the molten magma didn't reach the surface of the earth. However, it was exposed by erosion after over a millennia. It’s truly an amazing structure that you can explore from all angles by hiking the 1.3-mile loop trail at its base.
Aside from seeing the changes in its form from various viewpoints, you'll also enjoy watching adventurous rock climbers.
5. Bear Mountain Loop Trail in New York
A 90-minute drive outside of New York City, the Bear Mountain Loop Trail is ideal for those who like a bit of a challenge in climbing steps and scrambling among rocks near the top of the trail. Kids and even dogs can complete the hike with no issues, and enjoy the priceless reward at the end: the stunning views of the Hudson River.
The best time to schedule your trip is during peak fall foliage. Aside from the Bear Mountain Loop Trail, you can also head to the Perkins Memorial Tower for its lovely panoramic views and then make your way to the smooth rock area where you’ll find vistas and a nice space to have lunch with the whole family.
Whether you’re planning your next family vacation or simply want to get your children to stay active, the best hikes for kids included on this list are worth considering. Aside from giving the whole family a chance to bond, hiking is a budget-friendly activity that proves to be highly educational and fun.
Just make sure that you get everyone prepared and pack all the must-have hiking gear for a more enjoyable trip. Other outdoor activities that go well with hiking are picnics, camping, and water activities like swimming and kayaking.
The best family hiking trails usually have nice spots for picnics, but don’t expect that there will always be available facilities like tables and chairs. If you want to bring your own outdoor chairs that your family can use when taking a break, try PARKIT’s lightweight recreational chairs that you can fold up and carry like a backpack.
With the higher seats and high-quality fabrics that don’t tear easily, you’re promised chairs that are both comfortable and functional. Check out our four different designs available for you to choose from.
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