If you are looking for the best hiking trails Washington State for your summer vacation, here are suggestions for ten areas that would be ideal for families. Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Washington and make a lifetime of memories for your family.
1. Licorice Fern Trail: Located in Cougar Mountain Regional Widland Park, this is a 4.5-mile hike in a residential neighborhood that not many people know about. It is considered to be the most beautiful and surprising of all hikes. Since it is within a park in the Puget Sound, the contrast between the number of visitors and the quiet solitude of the trail is striking.
2. Chirico Trail: Located in Tiger Mountain Forest is a 4-mile hike and considered to be one of the easiest to attempt. Known for its beautiful vistas in the Issaquah Alps, the high point of this hike includes Poo Poo Point. It is from here that paragliders take off and those who witness them in flight consider it to be an experience to remember.
3. Deep Creek Canyon Loop: Located in Spokane’s Riverside State Park, this 4.6-mile hike promises to offer a fantastic view of its wild flowers, as well as the forest pine overlooking Pine Bluff. Enjoy wild flowers in the various habitats, which include the rubble of crumbling basalt near the mouth of Deep Creek, dark mossy forest, open ponderosa pine forest and the cliff-edge overlooks of Nine Mile Reservoir on Pine Bluff.
4. Ebey’s Landing: Located in Coupeville is a 3.5-mile hike in an area known as one of the most beautiful locations in Washington State. You can view the bluffs from the Olympic Peninsula to the Island of Vancouver. Of particular interest are the bald eagles that nest in the trees, as well as the panoramic views.
5. Snoqualmie Falls: One of the most popular hikes to this magnificent waterfall, this has been a favorite to over one million visitors. A 100-yard hike to the falls may be short, but the time spent viewing the 268-feet waterfall is incomparable. To fully experience the hike with your family, take the half mile hike down the hill where the scenery is just as spectacular.
6. Huckleberry Creek Trail: This 2-mile hike begins at Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest and segues into the northeast section of the park. It ends at Mt. Rainier National Park, and is known for the Lost Creek crossover.
7. The Denny Creek Trail: This 2-mile hike is a wonderful experience for children. It is a great place to picnic and utilizes the creek as water slides for the kids. This can be a fun family trip encompassing both hiking and outdoor activities.
8. Grand Forest Park: Enjoy a 2-mile hike as you view birds and other wildlife. Considered to be an easy hike, especially for children, the entire family can enjoy a leisurely walk to Battle Point Park.
9. Squires Lake Park: With a hike of about a third of a mile, your family can hang a right and visit Beaver Pond. Here the kids can view how beavers live as well as take in the variety of birds located here.
10. Lord Hill Regional Park: Located in Snohomish, there are 6 miles devoted to hikers, but you can take a 2-mile hike through this park. Some of the sights the kids will enjoy are the Beaver Habitat, ponds, and wetlands.
These amazing hikes in Washington state offer families of young children beautiful trails to explore while considering the unique ways young children hike – wander, waddle and explore galore!
Tips for Hiking with Children
If you are planning to take young kids hiking, you may want to have some sort of plan ready to keep them entertained, as kids do not always enjoy long walks – especially through the hot sun. Here are ten essential tips for hiking with children.
1. Ensure you have some energy stops in mind, such as a lunch stop.
2. Having more than one child on a hiking trip is ideal. If you only have one child, why not bring along his friend. This way they can keep each other entertained throughout the hike.
3. Let the child be a leader of the hike for a while, by rotating every so often. This is a good way to keep the walk fresh, and will avoid boredom.
4. Plan a picnic halfway through the hike. Find a nice spot to sit down and take a break. After the children take a break, they will be ready to get right back on the trail.
5. Bring necessary items such as a first aid kit, snacks, sunscreen, and the children’s favorite toy, an extra set of clothing, bug spray, anti-bacterial wipes, and lotions.
6. Play verbal games along the way or ask the children to collect odd-looking stones. Provide them with a map as well, so that they feel they are participating fully in the hike and can refer to the map along the way.
7. Take frequent rest stops. Keep in mind they will walk at a slower pace, but may tire easily.
8. Give them a camera to take pictures of creepy bugs or other wildlife they may see along the way. They can then incorporate the pictures into the family scrapbook.
9. Stop by a lake or a stream so the entire family can either take a dip or simply become refreshed by the cool water.
10. Familiarize the family with the area, and as you walk along the trail point out different sights or facts to the children. Make it an adventurous trip for them by pre-selecting items for a treasure hunt along the trail.
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