Hikes with Tykes in North Conway & the White Mountains
North Conway and the surrounding areas have some of the best picks for Hike with Tykes!
Got a few free hours? Want to be home by lunch? Grab the kids and head out to one of these trails that are perfect for short and easy hikes!
You might want to consider referring to the day's activity as a treasure hunt, collecting adventure or some other term because most non-outdoorsy kids won't jump up and down when you mention a "hike"!
Pick, pack and plan wisely, the worst thing you can do is discourage them with a bad day of hiking!
Consider the following when planning your day hike:
To up your success rate, think like a child and more specifically, your child. What gets them excited? How active are they on a daily basis? What ages are they? Will you end up carrying them? Are they easily bored? The answers to these questions will certainly help plan your special day!
While hiking we have seen all kinds of scenarios, for instance; a young photographer with Dad packing her tripod, "Spider Man" using his spidey sense to scramble up a rock face, an 8 year old that was collecting flat stones, another snipping off leaves to show their teacher... you get the picture. On the other hand we've seen melt down's that rival some seen at Disney World after a long day.
If you plan your hike according to your child's interests and go at their pace you will make memories that will last a lifetime!
Before you go make sure to reference one of the many sites that detail supplies you should bring. We've done a bit of research and think that REI's list is pretty spot on!
Once you have decided on a destination try the following:
Next you need to pack:
1. Diana’s Baths
Who doesn’t LOVE Diana’s Baths? They are a long series of small waterfalls that originate at Big Attitash Mountain. The short, less than 1½-mile round-trip trail is flat, easy and handicap accessible.
Be sure to bring your bathing suit and water shoes for this one!
Check out our blog on "Doesn't Everyone Feel Happy Playing in a Waterfall?"
2. Jockey Cap Mountain
Simple and short. My personal fav. Invest a couple of minutes hiking up and you will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the Presidential Mountain Range, local hills and the mountains of Maine.
An added bonus is the brass ring that is etched with the profile of every mountain in view. I’ve never seen anything like it! It allows you to easily identify every mountain in view!
3. Cathedral Ledge
Perfect spot for little tykes! Drive to the top and you can hike around for almost 360 views. Hang onto tiny hands as the ledge drops off when you least expect it.
Both Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledge’s were formed during the last ice-age. They both are as prominent as Mt Washington when driving through North Conway.
4. Echo Lake
A favorite for kids of all ages! This is a flat and easy 1 mile hiking trail loop around Echo Lake. Pack a lunch and a drink. The state park has changing rooms and a large beach area.
Kids LOVE this one because it’s a loop and you hike around the lake with plenty of places to stop and swim or toss rocks in the water!
5. Boulder Loop
This is a good trail for those wanting a bit more of a challenge. There is a beautiful covered bridge at the base plus a boulder strewn river to swim or cool off.
The trail is easy enough for most families with children to hike. After the great workout climbing the loop has great views from the top .
6. Black Cap
This trail is easy enough for most families but tykes would probably want to be carried for quite a bit of the hike. The views from the top are worth your sweat equity!
Black Cap mountain gets its’ name from the bare granite at the peak which has been exposed by wind.
When you reach the peak, hikers can soak in views of New Hampshire's neighboring White Mountains as well as western Maine.