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.
Try on hiking boots for comfort and fit before you go.
Let your kids help prepare for your hike by making trail mix, filling water bottles, and studying maps.
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.
Point out wildflowers, waterfalls, and birds' nests along the way.
Let your child invite a friend. She'll have more fun -- and be less likely to complain.
Give everyone -- even the youngest trail-goers -- a turn as the hike leader.
Make frequent stops for water and snacks.
Praise patience and playfulness early and often.