Want to go hiking with small kids? Here’s where to take them.

Hiking with a child won’t be the same as hiking with adults. The goal with kids is much more about the journey than the destination. Here are four basic ideas to keep in mind:

Modify your goals. You may not reach the end of the trail. You may not even hike a mile. Adjust your hike to the enjoyment and comfort level of children.

Pack patience and flexibility. If you see a frog dart across the trail, be prepared to stop and wait to watch for that frog to dart across the trail again. Use teachable moments to explore the natural world.

Know what features are ahead. For starter day hikes, choose short trails that do not have much elevation gain, but do have features like lakes, ponds or waterfalls along the way. Children are fascinated with water.

Dress for success. Check weather conditions and be prepared. Bring dry clothes, even if rain isn’t in the forecast, your kiddo is likely to find a way to get wet. (Probably in a creative way you wouldn’t expect.)

If you live in the western Washington area, here are six great hikes for kids…


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