10 Best Hiking Trails For Kids

These 10 hiking trails are perfect for the kids

Starting as virtually an outdoor staircase, this short hike ascends steeply for just .6 miles before flattening out at an old path. A relaxing last .75 miles take you to the scenic overlook, giving you an unparalleled view of the Hudson River and the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Don’t miss: The scenic overlook
Round-trip length: 2.6 miles
Trailhead: Route 9D, just north of the Bear Mountain Bridge

Photo: www.hikethehudsonvalley.com

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This quick hike travels down towards the river, past a huge and beautiful Elk’s Head statue. When you reach the dock, feel free to picnic or fish, or just enjoy the view of the Hudson.

Don’t miss: The Elk’s Head statue
Round-trip length: 2 miles
Trailhead: Right past the zoo entrance at Bear Mountain State Park, 55 Hessian Drive, Bear Mountain

Photo: Michael Attanasio, Attanasio Imagery/www.attanasioimagery.com

 

A popular sledding site, this Rhinebeck locale features a half-mile trail that leads to an open meadow with views stretching from the Berkshires to the Catskills.

Don’t miss: Sunsets from the top
Round-trip length: .8 miles
Trailhead: Off of Route 9G, Rhinebeck

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​Photo: www.city-data.com

 

Jim’s Walk, a series of 700-foot-long wooden platforms set in a mazelike formation inside Constitution Marsh Sanctuary, lets kids stay busy observing the abundant amount of wildlife.

Don’t miss: Indian Brook Falls, a short walk from the Constitution Marsh parking area
Round-trip length: 1.7 miles
Trailhead: 127 Warren Landing Road, Garrison

Photo: www.constitutionmarsh.audubon.org

 

Easy on the legs, the preserve is a trail that parallels the Hudson and skirts through woodlands, alongside wetlands, and above the Klyne Esopus Kill.

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Don’t miss: Esopus Meadow Lighthouse visible downriver
Round-trip length: 2 miles
Trailhead: Route 9W, 10.3 miles north of the Mid-Hudson Bridge

Photo: Robert Rodriguez, Jr./www.robertrodriguezjr.com

 

This 3.5-mile, child-friendly trail in John Boyd Thacher State Park takes you past two waterfalls, an underground stream, even into the Hailes Caves.

Don’t miss: Fossils within the caves
Round-trip length: 3.5 miles
Trailhead: 1 Hailes Cave Road, Voorheesville

​Photo: Howard C. Ohlhous/www.hmbd.org

 

Named for the literary figures who once walked these grounds — including Washington Irving — this hike winds its way through nearly two miles of meadows and woods.

Don’t miss: Rustic pavilions and benches to relax along the way
Round-trip length: 2 miles
Trailhead: River Road, Red Hook

Photo: Robert Rodriguez, Jr./www.scenichudson.org

 

These three easy trails within the Roosevelt Woods, each no longer than one mile in length, wander through oak and hickory forests and are a part of the Hyde Park Trail System.

Don’t miss: Hudson River shore views
Round-trip length: 1-3 miles
Trailhead: 4097 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park

Photo: www.hikethehudsonvalley.com

 

This flat-as-a-pancake trail winds through a wide variety of different terrain, making it the ideal spot to take the tykes. With downed trees to climb over (and under), rocks and bugs to examine, and wildflowers to sniff, there is more than enough to keep your young naturalist happy for the whole trek.

Don’t miss: Great blue heron and osprey
Round-trip length: 1-2 miles
Trailhead: Red Schoolhouse Road, Stony Kill Environmental Education Center, Wappingers Falls

Photo: Tim Heffernan

 

Beginners and less-experienced hikers will love this trail, which offers terrific scenery with only a moderate amount of sweat.

As the name implies, Undercliff skirts the bottom of cliffs, which rise as much as 300 feet above the road and jut out at seemingly impossible angles above your head. Overcliff takes you around to the opposite side of the ridge, where (depending on the season) you’ll see mountain laurel in bloom and wild blueberries ripe for the picking.

Don’t miss: Rock-climbers hanging from the cliff faces
Round-trip length: 5 miles
Trailhead: 3197 Route 44/55, Gardiner

Photo: www.hikethehudsonvalley.com

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