Hiking With Young Children

A lot of Washingtonian’s love to go hiking and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. When you take young children with you, it changes the dynamic. There is a lot more preparation involved and it is very important to find a trail that is child friendly. You can still enjoy the hiking experience with your children as long as you have a little patience, a positive attitude and have a lot of time to spare for some extra fun. Little ones like to stop, play, look at bugs and play in water. They aren’t interested in moving along too fast, so don’t be rushed or on a tight schedule. Children live in the moment. Some of us need to follow their lead in that regard.

Be sure to pick a short trail, and possibly one with a river or place of water to play in.  Bring extra clothes, sunscreen, lots of snacks and food. Be sure not to be in a hurry. Take your time. Enjoy the sights along the trail and allow the kids to explore. Following are a few beginner and family friendly trails for you to enjoy this spring.

Boulder River Waterfall is a great trail for spring. Located in Arlington, it is only a 2.5 mile round-trip with a 250 foot elevation gain. The waterfall will be an exciting destination for the kids to experience.

Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail is located near Olympia. It is a 4 mile round trip on a long consecutive boardwalk. Depending if tides are in or out, you will be walking over water or mudflats. Bringing your binoculars is a wonderful idea if you are interested in bird watching and searching for other animals that live in the area.

Second Beach is located on the Olympic Coast. This trail is a 1.5 mile round trip and has an 80 foot elevation gain and a 100 foot loss. The children will enjoy playing in the tide pools and the shore of the ocean. They will love exploring for shells and other little treasures on the beach. Don’t forget beach toys.

Take a little time this spring to enjoy and explore the beauty that Washington trails have to offer. The kids will love it and you are making memories that will last a lifetime.

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