Hiking can be a challenging activity. That’s why it is tricky to find a family-friendly hike in the US.
For one, it has to be safe and less strenuous. Second, it should be interesting that your kids will not wander. Lastly, it should be stimulating for your kids.
To help you narrow down your list, we have listed down the top seven family-friendly hikes in the US.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve, Colorado
Colorado is home to the country’s tallest dunes. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve is tucked against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains’ east side.
The main dune field has spread across 30 square miles, and it can reach more than 700 feet high.
While it is not your “go out and have fun” kind of dunes park, parents and kids are welcome to run, slide, and roll here. However, you need to heed the necessary precautions when the sand is scorching hot in the summer.
Sourdough Ridge Trail, Washington
Located in the subalpine zone of the Mount Rainier National Park, the Sourdough Ridge Trail offers fantastic views of Washington’s snow-capped peaks.
It boasts a one-mile loop with gentle elevation, and it passes through flower-filled meadows. This makes the trail a great way to introduce the beauty of nature to kids.
Just keep in mind that the snow closes this area most of the time. So, it would be best to plan your hike during summer or early fall.
Frozen Niagara Tour, Kentucky
Some cave tours can be cumbersome for children. But not the Frozen Niagara Tour at the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
The tour is short enough at a quarter-mile round trip. It also boasts spectacular cave sceneries like the Rainbow Dome, Crystal Lake, and the Frozen Niagara flowstone.
If you want to stimulate your kids’ imagination, we recommend that you bring them here.
But depending on when you want to take the tour, we suggest bringing a decent rain jacket. That’s because the wet season lasts more than four months in Kentucky. And it usually peaks around June.
Giant Logs Trail, Arizona
A wide, open space can be uneventful for kids. But if you bring them to a place where they can see enormous “fallen trees” made of rock, that can be a different story.
The Giant Logs Trail in Arizona is one of the best short hikes for kids. It starts at the Rainbow Forest Museum and can lead you to the Old Faithful, the most massive log in the park.
Here, you and your family will be able to see bark, knotholes, and growth rings in great detail.
Base Loop Trail, Wyoming
There is a reason why Native American have long considered the Devils Tower National Monument a sacred site.
The Devil Tower is a butte that rises 867 feet above the rock rubble.
But do not just marvel at it from afar. You and your family can take the 1.3-mile base loop trail that starts across the parking area from the visitor center.
When you take the trail, you will notice clothes and bundles that are attached to the trees. These are Native American prayer clothes that you should leave undisturbed.
There are also benches where you can rest and waysides informing you about the park’s natural and cultural history. Another trail highlight is up-close views of the Tower and boulder field.
Life of the Marsh and Woodland Trails, Maryland
It will not come as a surprise if kids love ponies. And if your kids do, we recommend that you bring them to the Assateague Island National Seashore.
The park encompasses a 37-mile-long barrier between Maryland and Virginia. However, the ponies from the Maryland side run wild and free, and you can see them when you take the Life of the Marsh and Woodland Trails.
The trail winds through a salt marsh where many ponies convene.
Trails Along Redwood Creek, California
If you want to bring your kids to a magical place, the trails along Redwood Creek is the place to be.
It is a cathedral-life forest of coast redwoods that can be as high as 250 feet. Hence, do not be surprised to see people with upturned faces and wide-open eyes.
Luckily, you do not have to step on the roots of these centuries-old trees. That’s because there are paved trails alongside Redwood Creek.
National Parks Abound Family-friendly Hikes
We know how challenging it can be to find a family-friendly hike.
For one, it has to be easy enough for the youngsters. Second, it should be enticing for the adults.
Luckily, there are several worthwhile trails throughout the US that your entire family can enjoy. And it is not just because it piques the parents’ interest while ensuring it will not tire out the kids. If you need help getting started then check out this guide for the perfect hiking trip.
The hiking trails we have listed above are sure to stimulate your kids’ imagination and allow them to learn about nature.