Five Tips for Joyful Hiking with Little Kids

Now that Madison is a great little walker, hiking adventures will be a new & fun adventure for us to enjoy together. I will most certainly have to “Forget about the destination,” as I am sure we will be slowly moving forward most of the time; but, once again, I am learning that parenting is all about slowing down and being in the moment. Enjoy these great tips & happy trails!


As someone who leads a lot of hiking outings with little kids, today I’m going to address a question I’m frequently asked by parents…. “How do I get my child to enjoy hiking?” Listed here are what I believe to be the five most important tips:

  1. Keep it short: The first thing you must do is give up the idea that you’ll be able to do the long hikes you used to do before you had children. Little kids simply don’t have the stamina. Begin with super short outings (1/2 mile to 1 mile) at nature areas close to home. Gradually build up to longer hikes. Also remember that your child might have a lot of energy at the beginning of the hike, and you’ll begin to think, “yes, today we’re going to get a longer hike in!” Keep in mind that you have to hike back to the…

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