Take a Hike! 8 Family-Friendly Tips

Get out your comfy walking shoes and gather your family for a fun and fitness-filled walk. Here's how to make sure kids of all ages have fun out on the trails.

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Fun, Foolproof Family Hikes

Fancy Photography/Veer

Fun, Foolproof Family Hikes

Any time is a terrific time to take a hike. Some tips for kid-friendly treks, from Best Hikes With Children in Utah author Maureen Keilty.

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Make Sure Shoes Fit

Jason Lindsey

Make Sure Shoes Fit

Try on hiking boots for comfort and fit before you go.

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Getting Ready

Bill Hopkins

Getting Ready

Let your kids help prepare for your hike by making trail mix, filling water bottles, and studying maps.

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Choose an Easy Route

Jason Lindsey

Choose an Easy Route

Choose an easy route so even the youngest hiker can say, "I walked the whole way!" Most younger children can handle a two-mile hike -- and you may be surprised to see how far older kids walk! But for your first-time out on the trails, start with a gentle mile.

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Stop to Smell the Flowers

Jason Lindsey

Stop to Smell the Flowers

Point out wildflowers, waterfalls, and birds' nests along the way.

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Invite a Trail Buddy

Peter Krumhardt

Invite a Trail Buddy

Let your child invite a friend. She'll have more fun -- and be less likely to complain.

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Follow the Leader

John Noltner

Follow the Leader

Give everyone -- even the youngest trail-goers -- a turn as the hike leader.

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Stay Hydrated

Fancy Photography/Veer

Stay Hydrated

Make frequent stops for water and snacks.

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Positive Reinforcement is Key!

iStock

Positive Reinforcement is Key!

Praise patience and playfulness early and often.

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