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.

01 of 09

Fun, Foolproof Family Hikes

kids holding butterfly nets
Fancy Photography/Veer

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.

02 of 09

Make Sure Shoes Fit

mother and son on a walk
Jason Lindsey

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

03 of 09

Getting Ready

trail mix
Bill Hopkins

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

04 of 09

Choose an Easy Route

father and son on a hike
Jason Lindsey

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.

05 of 09

Stop to Smell the Flowers

child using binoculars to explore nature
Jason Lindsey

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

06 of 09

Invite a Trail Buddy

kids exploring nature
Peter Krumhardt

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

07 of 09

Follow the Leader

family on a hike
John Noltner

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

08 of 09

Stay Hydrated

child drinking at water fountain
Fancy Photography/Veer

Make frequent stops for water and snacks.

09 of 09

Positive Reinforcement is Key!

woman hugging son

Praise patience and playfulness early and often.

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