Looking for family friendly spring hikes? I always think Spring Break is one of the best time to hike with your family. Trees and flowers start to bloom and the weather begin to warm up, while in some area wildflowers are carpeting the land and the weather is nice already. In other words, it’s time to go out!
These 5 family knew well about it and share their favorite trails for the Spring Break with you, from west coast to east coast, with curious toddlers to explorer tweenies in tow.
5 FAMILY-FRIENDLY SPRING HIKES PICKED BY 5 ADVENTURERS FAMILY FOR YOU
1. GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA by Henry and Andrew’s Guide.
Springtime is when all the fresh flowers and greeneries bloom in San Francisco, and it’s the perfect time to go hiking as a family! You can’t go wrong hiking in any of the National Forest and Park areas that are all over San Francisco, but our all-time favorite (and stroller friendly) hiking is in Golden Gate Park. Particularly around Stow Lake trail – an easy and entertaining 1-mile loop with options to extend it much further.
Stow Lake is a lake on top of a little hill right above the Japanese Tea Garden. In the springtime, hedgehogs peek through the ground, you can feed the ducks, go on paddle boats and/or have lunch under the Chinese Pavilion to break up your hike. From there, you can also extend your hike by going through all over Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate Park hiking trail itself is a total of 6.1 miles, where you can see the ocean, bison, waterfalls, De Young Museum, rose garden, and Academy of Sciences. On the weekends, you will hear a live Jazz band playing at a tunnel close to the Conservatory of Flowers, swingers dancing by the Music Concourse, and rollerbladers/skaters dancing to fun music. All of this can be done with a stroller!
2. SILVER FALLS STATE PARK, SILVERTON, OREGON by The Hot Flash Packer.
One of the most scenic family friendly hikes in the Pacific Northwest is the loop trail at Silver Falls State Park outside of Silverton, Oregon. The trail is appropriately called the “Trail of Ten Falls” … can you guess why? The 10 waterfalls vary in height up to 177 feet and there are four waterfalls that you can walk behind – you may get wet! Spring is the best time to visit because the falls have the highest water flow and the vegetation is especially green. The trail is lined by moss, ferns, trees, and wildflowers.
This moderate 7.2-mile hike has a gain and loss of 800 feet. It’s possible to do this in a day trip from Portland, as the drive is just under 2 hours, but it’s also possible to camp or stay overnight at the Silver Falls Lodge. Both the campground (tent, RV, and cabins), and the lodge are open year-round. The day use pass is $5 per car per day. The main visitor area near the South falls includes ample parking, picnic facilities, a café, and gift shop.
3. HANGING LAKE, GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO by Melissa Downham from The Roaming Family.
Hanging Lake, a crystal-clear lake located between Vail and Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a fantastic hike for families. Glenwood Springs itself has so many family friendly activities and hanging Lake is one of the highlights.
A high-altitude lake suspended at the edge of Glenwood Canyon’s cliffs, Hanging Lake is considered a geological wonder. Clear, aqua water surrounded by trees and flowing waterfalls, the area is so spectacular that it was designated a National Natural Landmark in 2011.
The hiking trail up to Hanging Lake is only one mile, but it is uphill and slightly strenuous. Children around 7 and over can handle it but taking it slow is imperative. In addition, due to the altitude, water is essential – bring plenty. The trail can also be rocky at times, so good shoes are needed, as well.
The trail winds through Aspen and Fir trees and is super peaceful. Although it’s one of the most popular hikes in Colorado, families can avoid the crowds by starting early in the morning. The trail is open from dawn to dusk. We love it because it’s totally unique and different from any of the hikes we have experienced in Colorado. While we have seen many lakes throughout the western part of the United States, nothing can compare to the water and scenery at Hanging Lake.
Melissa and her husband together with their 2 children traveled to more than 13 countries. Her goal is to help other families plan and execute a fun vacation – both with or without kids. Check out their adventure through theroamingfamily or follow them on Instagram.
4. WHITE MOUNTAINS, NEW HAMPSHIRE by Ruth Mendes from Have Kiddos Will Travel.
The White Mountains of NH offer an array of family friendly hiking options that are ideal for a Spring Break family adventure. This NH mountains offer everything from hiking, eating wild blueberries, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, splashing in stream, fishing and pretty much every outdoor activity imageable. Here are a few of our family’s favorites, that are sure to create memories to last a lifetime.
– Diana’s Baths in North Conway, NH: We hiked and swam at Diana’s Baths in the rain and it was an amazing experience. This actually ended up being the highlight of this particular trip to the White Mountains. The kids were literally thanking us for being “so amazing” and gave this hiking location a big “thumbs up.”
– Cathedral Ledge at Echo Lake State Park: This brief hike will allow you to enjoy amazing views of the White Mountains. We even met two rock climbers who’d just spent 5 ½ hours scaling the mountain and were gracious enough to spend time teach our kids about rock climbing.
– Mount Washington State Park: Our family explored this national wonder on a cold January day via their Snow Coach tour, yet the Northeast’s highest peak can be explored during any time of year. This needs to be on every family’s bucket list.
Ruth is a wife and mami of 4 active and globe-trotting kids (ages 12, 9, 6 and 4). She’s always loved a good adventure and truly believes that it’s possible to not only travel with, but actually enjoy exploring with children. Join her on Have Kiddos Will Travel as she shares her family’s adventures and inspires you to get out of the house with your kiddos or followed them on Instagram.
5. PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK, AMARILLO, TEXAS.
Out of 30 miles plus of hiking trails in Palo Duro Canyon, the Lighthouse Trail is easily the popular one in the park thanks to its rock formation that looks like a lighthouse at the end of trail. When I said popular, it means a lot of family with children from babies to teenagers age hiking this trail, as well as bringing along their dog/s. The trail is 2.72 miles one way and mostly flat almost to the end. Then it changes to uphill and strenuous until you reach the Lighthouse. I think because of this part the trail categorized as moderate.
Our family did the Lighthouse Trail last year during Spring Break. We enjoyed it much especially once we had to climb uphill to the Lighthouse. It was a short distance but there were spots where we climbed with our two hands also. Fun! Once we got to the Lighthouse and took pictures, we explored and climbed the rocks opposite the Lighthouse. The wind is strong up there. So, don’t let your little ones wandering around by themselves.
It took us around 4 hours to finish the trail. The temperature was 60F when we started, but it crept fast and was in 86F after we arrived back at the parking. When you go, make sure you bring plenty of water.
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Have you been to one of these parks? Tell me your experience by leave a comment below. If you haven’t, it’s time to check it out! You will enjoy it much just like the families who suggested them for you.