Hiking is a great way for kids to havecarefree, unstructured play. Kids are free to climb rocks, splashwater, and get dirty or other words just be a kid. The followinghikes have an easy slope, wide trail, and natural play areas. So,pack a lunch and explore the great outdoors with your kids.
District of Columbia
Theodore Roosevelt Island National Park
The hiking route on this island is verystroller friendly because part of the trail is a wooden walkway. Thewooden walkway exposes children to wetlands plant and animal life.You will also get an amazing view of the Potomac River. For a bit ofextra fun, play hide-and-go-seek in the monument area.
Rock Creek National Park Hiking Trails
If you are ready to challenge yourelementary-aged child, this 4-mile course is a perfect fit. Thecourse begins at the Nature Center and runs alongside Rock Creek. Thetrail has a bit of elevation because it follows along the top ridge.Once you hit the top, you begin to descend into valley floor.
Northwest Branch Park Hiking Trails
Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoythis hike because as they move along the trail, they can be on thelookout for the beavers that have made a home along the stream. Yourchild will be fascinated by the beaver teeth marks on many of thetrees.
Patuxent Research Refuge
This short 2-mile trail begins at apond and winds its way to Cash Lake where wildlife is plentiful.After the children get to see the wildlife in their natural habitat,it is great to take them to the National Wildlife Museum that islocated on the refuge.
Huntley Meadows Park
This park houses diverse habitatsincluding wetlands, meadows, and forest. There is boardwalk thatleads you to an observation tower where you can, hopefully, observebeavers, frogs, dragonflies, and herons. This spot is also known as aprime birding spot, with over 200 species.
Cub Run RECenter
When you first arrive, you might wonderwhat could be natural about a large recreation center, but Cub Run isunique. It has a resident naturalist there that can guide along thetrail or teach you some new ideas at one of their classes. The trailitself is a great place for kids to run along a natural surfacetrail.