Top 5 Hiking Trails Perfect for Kids and Families

top 5 hiking trails perfect for kids and families

Exploring the great outdoors with your family is one of the most rewarding activities you can engage in. Hiking not only provides an excellent opportunity for physical exercise but also allows for bonding time and the chance to teach your children about nature. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top five hiking trails perfect for kids and families. Each trail has been chosen for its family-friendly features, safety, and the unique experiences it offers. Welcome to “The Kids Point” guide to family hiking adventures!

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

Trail: Laurel Falls Trail

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its biodiversity and stunning landscapes. Among its many trails, the Laurel Falls Trail stands out as an ideal family-friendly hike.

Trail Details:

  • Length: 2.6 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Features: Waterfall, paved trail

Why It’s Great for Families:

  • Paved Path: The trail is paved for most of its length, making it accessible for strollers and young children.
  • Waterfall: The trail leads to the beautiful Laurel Falls, a 80-foot cascade that’s a perfect spot for a family photo.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and numerous bird species, making it an educational experience for kids.
  • Ranger Programs: The park offers ranger-led programs that can enrich your visit with interesting facts and stories about the local flora and fauna.


  • Visit early in the morning to avoid crowds.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks.
  • Teach kids about staying on the trail to protect the delicate ecosystems.

2. Yosemite National Park, California

Trail: Mirror Lake Trail

Yosemite National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders, and the Mirror Lake Trail is a fantastic choice for families looking to explore its beauty without tackling too strenuous a hike.

Trail Details:

  • Length: 2 miles round trip to the lake, 5 miles if you complete the loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Features: Lake, views of Half Dome, seasonal wildflowers

Why It’s Great for Families:

  • Flat Terrain: The trail is relatively flat, making it suitable for young children and those in strollers.
  • Scenic Views: The reflection of Half Dome in Mirror Lake is a breathtaking sight and provides a perfect backdrop for family photos.
  • Swimming: Depending on the season, the lake offers a shallow area where kids can splash around.
  • Educational Opportunities: The park offers educational programs and exhibits that can enhance your family’s understanding of the natural world.


  • Check the water levels before you go, as Mirror Lake can dry up in the summer.
  • Pack a picnic to enjoy by the lake.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring hats and sunscreen.

3. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Trail: Bear Lake Nature Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park is a spectacular destination for families who love the mountains. The Bear Lake Nature Trail is a short, accessible trail that offers incredible mountain scenery.

Trail Details:

  • Length: 0.6 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Features: Lake, mountain views, interpretive signs

Why It’s Great for Families:

  • Short and Sweet: The short length of the trail makes it perfect for young kids with shorter attention spans.
  • Interpretive Signs: Educational signs along the trail provide interesting facts about the area’s geology, flora, and fauna.
  • Stunning Scenery: The trail circles Bear Lake, offering beautiful views of the surrounding peaks, including Hallett Peak and Longs Peak.
  • Wildlife Spotting: The area is known for its wildlife, and you might spot elk, mule deer, and various bird species.


  • Arrive early to secure parking, as this is a popular trail.
  • Dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly in the mountains.
  • Bring a small nature journal for kids to sketch and record their observations.

4. Acadia National Park, Maine

Trail: Jordan Pond Path

Acadia National Park offers stunning coastal scenery and diverse ecosystems. The Jordan Pond Path is a delightful family-friendly hike that showcases the park’s beauty.

Trail Details:

  • Length: 3.4 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Features: Pond, mountain views, wild blueberries (in season)

Why It’s Great for Families:

  • Scenic Loop: The trail loops around Jordan Pond, providing continuous views of the clear water and surrounding mountains, including the Bubbles.
  • Educational Experience: Informational signs along the trail explain the area’s natural history and geology.
  • Wild Blueberries: If you visit in the late summer, you can enjoy picking wild blueberries along the trail—a fun and delicious activity for kids.
  • Rest Spot: The Jordan Pond House at the trailhead offers a great spot for a family meal or a famous popover after your hike.


  • Wear sturdy shoes, as parts of the trail can be rocky.
  • Bring insect repellent, especially in the summer.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife, including loons and beavers.

5. Zion National Park, Utah

Trail: Riverside Walk

Zion National Park is known for its towering cliffs and stunning vistas. The Riverside Walk is an excellent introduction to the park’s dramatic landscapes, suitable for families with kids of all ages.

Trail Details:

  • Length: 2.2 miles round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Features: Virgin River, hanging gardens, wildlife

Why It’s Great for Families:

  • Easy Terrain: The trail is mostly flat and paved, making it accessible for strollers and young children.
  • Water Fun: The trail follows the Virgin River, and there are plenty of spots where kids can dip their feet in the water.
  • Natural Beauty: The hanging gardens and towering canyon walls offer spectacular views.
  • Wildlife: Keep an eye out for mule deer, squirrels, and a variety of bird species.


  • Bring water shoes for the kids if they plan to play in the river.
  • Start early in the day to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Educate your kids on the importance of not disturbing the wildlife and staying on the path.

Hiking with kids can be a fantastic way to introduce them to the wonders of nature while enjoying quality family time. The trails mentioned above are perfect for families, offering manageable distances, beautiful scenery, and educational opportunities. Remember to prepare adequately for your hike by bringing plenty of water, snacks, sun protection, and appropriate footwear. Most importantly, take your time, enjoy the journey, and make lasting memories with your loved ones.

At “The Kids Point,” we believe in the power of outdoor adventures to enrich children’s lives. So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and set out on a family hiking adventure today!

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