5 Great Philly Kids' Hikes
Glorious weather means it's time to hit the trail. The Delaware Valley's packed with spectacular hiking routes even the youngest hoofers can handle. Check out MomSpeaker Trina O'Boyle's five favorites below, then click here to find 15 more area parks perfect for hiking, biking, blading, strollering and communing with Mother Nature.
Hiking can be a great way even for your youngest child to experience nature, even it’s from a baby wrap or stroller. Spring is my favorite time for hikes. After the cold winter there is something about smelling the fresh air and getting back out in nature that makes me happy. The kids aren’t complaining about being too hot or too cold and, heck, they are ready to stretch their legs once the warmer weather arrives. Before heading out make sure you prepare yourself and your little ones so there aren’t too many surprises.
- Bring plenty of healthy snacks and water for everyone.
- When starting, hike short distances and commit to traveling at your child’s pace.
- Invite a friend to keep them company – this works well for older children.
- Play games throughout, look for treasure or try geocaching – we love this!
- Stop often, remember you are hiking with kids and they get tired quickly
- Let your little one help pick out the hiking spot; we use this book.
Now let's talk about those hiking spots! There are so many wonderful ones in and around Philadelphia. Did you know that Fairmount Park is one of the largest city parks in the country? Yep, right in our own backyard. Here are my favorite spots that I’ve taken my own children, and I hope you can experience these 5 Philadelphia hikes with your kids.
- Strawberry Mansion Trail — This is a 3.8-mile trail that's great for older kids, or you can easily do just part of it with younger ones. The trail overlooks the Schuylkill River and is great for strollers, since it's pretty flat.
- Wissahickon Green Ribbon Trail – Don’t let this 12-mile trail intimidate you. It has some small hills but is mostly paved which is great for strollers. If the weather is nice you can experience this trail year-round.
- Forbidden Drive Trail – This is a great trail for beginners and so family-friendly. There's so much see along the trail that the kids will not be bored, I promise.
- Mount Joy — This is outside the city within Valley Forge National Park. Got a free day? Pack a lunch and enjoy it hiking some steep hills which is perfect for those high energy kids…like mine!
- Pennypack Trail – This was the first trail we tried after moving to the area. It’s just over 8 miles and goes to Fox Chase Farm, which is AMAZING. Lots to see but it’s a bit rocky so be prepared with good shoes or a off road type stroller.
So which trail do you think you’d like to try first? Got another trail that you love? Please share, we are always looking for new and exciting family hikes. Happy hiking!
Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog O'Boy Organic.