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Good beginner hiking with kids

Salem, Oregon
3 posts
Good beginner hiking with kids
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Hello,

I wanted to know if anyone have some ideas on how to get kids in shape to go on a mile hike? We have tried even just walking a mile on a track and they seem to lose interest. Has anyone here taken kids hiking?

8 replies to this topic
Munich, Germany
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for Oman, California, Yukon, Chile, Argentina, Road Trips
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1. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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As we were kids we also didn't like hiking. So our parents went with us on interesting walks: through a forest, where we climbed up a high blind, or to a creek where we could play in the water, And on the way our father explained a lat of the nature, showed us herbs, or flowers, or birds. So every walk/hike was so interesting for us, that we went very willingly.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park, Senior Travel
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2. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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Oh gosh, even my interest wanes walking a track. I agree with Reise Beate on looking for some short interesting walks.

Is there an Arboretum or botanical garden near you? A short trail thru a wooded area? I’m not familiar with Salem so no recommendations. Is there a greenway or rails to trails multiuse trail? Someone on the Salem or Oregon forum might have a suggestion for a shorter doable trail.

I went with my nephew and his 2-year old recently on the kiddo’s first hike. He did pretty well and got about 3/4 of a mile before he started losing interest, tired and wanted to be carried. We’ve got our eye on another less than 2-mile or so loop that his Grandpa and I think we can manage him on.

Spery, Iowa
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3. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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How about a scavanger hunt hike? Not to take things, just to look for. Grandsons love it. They have them on-line, or you can make your own based on where you are going.

I'll add my dislike of walking a track to the others. Can you carry me Pam?

N. Idaho
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4. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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“Can you carry me Pam?”

Hahaha...You are pretty tiny but I was pretty sure I couldn’t carry the aforementioned 35# 2-year old!

I love the scavenger hunt idea! That is something we can use for him as he gets older. He was getting the hang of hunting for Easter eggs but I’m not sure we can manage that on a trail just yet, lol!!

Salem, Oregon
3 posts
5. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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Thank you for the scavenger idea. I think that would be a great idea and maybe playing I spy as we hike would be helpful as well.

Spery, Iowa
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6. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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Exactly, David. Get them looking at everything around them. We did color ones, shape ones, specific items like a round rock. Lots of variety and easy to do!

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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7. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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We started our kids hiking when they were very young. Yes, a track would be super boring for me, so I can only imagine for kids. On a trail though, there are so many things to see. The various plants, bugs, birds, etc. We also had each of the kids take their own packs (kid sized) and they had their own water/sandwich/snacks. One thing we did was to make sure that the snacks were ones that were only for when hiking, so they were more desirable. We used Pixie Stix as they were small and lightweight, but the sugar was a huge draw for the kids as it was nothing like the snacks we kept at home. Worked like a charm, lol! Having the kids have their own packs made them feel a bit more in charge, which they liked. There are various pocket books or even just laminated cards with local wildlife and flowers to look for. Those would be easy for the kids to look at and then look for.

Dora, Alabama
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8. Re: Good beginner hiking with kids
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Try Geocaching - it might get them interested and teach them some science too (GPS, waypoints, etc.).

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