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Hiking With The Kids


Hiking is one of the most popular and enjoyed outdoor activities for all ages. Children love the outdoors and they love to be active. Hiking provides a great deal of quality time with your children and also a wonderful place to teach them to love, enjoy and respect nature. Proper planning will insure a successful hike.


  • Start out with short hikes and slowly build up their conditioning and endurance. Hike are supposed to be fun, not forced and upsetting. Don't expect them to go as far or as fast as you can. Five miles for any child is the maximum. 

  • Make sure they have the proper footwear. This is as important for them as it is for you. Nylon liner socks and a heavier sock are also a must to avoid getting blister. 

  • Leave plenty of time for your hike. Be prepared to stop often. Kids love to touch everything they see. Plan hikes near boulder fields, waterfalls, streams and other attractions to keep them interested and to build their anticipation. Take time to identify things along the way. Look for wildlife. Teach your children to explore and touch...not to destroy or collect. Don't forget to take lots of pictures for their scrapbook. 

  • Teach them good outdoor ethics and to respect nature and other people. Stay on the trail and don't allow them to take shortcuts. No yelling or loud noises. Don't throw rocks or break tree branches. Don't pick flowers or write on rocks. No running on the trails. Respect other hikers space. No littering. Remember--pack in, pack out. 

  • Keep kids away from steep cliffs and other drop off areas. Watch them closely when climbing on rocks and around water. 

  • Bring plenty of water and snacks. 

  • Don't forget the first aid kit for those unexpected accidents. 

  • Infants can be carried in a baby backpack.

  • Engage your child's mind and body. Make the hike fun. Sing songs. Identify items. Play games such as I Spy, twenty questions or cloud pictures etc. Have a scavenger hunt. Be creative. Use your imagination and enjoy this special time with your children.







Tenant Falls Hike

Trail Description: A one-mile walk to an impressive waterfall, or walk two miles and discover three falls, each more lovely than the last. Because the trail follows and crosses a stream hiking is only appropriate in times of low water.After crossing a substantial snowmobile bridge over Tenant Creek, immediately look for an unmarked trail on the right. Follow it back to the creek and cross on rocks (or wade). Clamber up the shallow ridge on the opposite shore and locate the path again - it will follow the creek. the trail may become faint, but it is impossible to get lost as long as you keep the creek on your left. You will arrive at the first waterfall...a satisfactory destination for young children. Youngsters should be warned about climbing to the top of falls to look down, since the rocks can be slippery. If you are hiking with older youngsters, continue with the creek on your left to find waterfalls two and three. This walk is tougher, with many tree roots to negotiate, but the mossy glen and wild rocks that comprise the settings for the last two falls are magnificent.

Directions to Trailhead: Finding the trailhead takes some concentration. Look for an unmarked county road off of Rt. 30 between Wells and Northville. If heading north, once you pass the Benson Rd. on the left, the unmarked road is on your right in roughly a 1 to 1.5 miles. If traveling south, look for a cemetary on a low hill to the left, and take the road immediately beyond it. Follow the road as it bends sharply to the right and continue 1.5 miles to a sign that says Hope Falls Rd. Turn left onto this road and continue for 7.7 miles, bearing left a each of two "Y's". Park at the small area at the end of the road. The sign refers to Wilcox Lake, and the trail follows the Wilcox Lake Trail briefly.

Sawyer Mountain Hike

Trail Description: This may just be the easiest summit hike in the Adirondacks, and its gently grade and pleasing view make it a proud accomplishment for older walkers as well as children. The trail proceeds south and enters a hardwood forest. At .9 miles there is a look out to the east, prefaced by a large boulder. The summit at 1.1 is wooded, but there is another look out several hundred feet beyond the summit. A good site for a picnic. A 2.2 mile round trip.

Directions to Trailhead: Located off of Rt. 28/30 between Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake, Sawyer's trailhead parking is well-marked. Find it on the west side of the road, six miles east of Blue Mountain Lake.

Boreas River Trail Hike

Trail Description: Churning rapids at times of high water are the allure of this relatively well drained trail. The Boreas River used to propel thousands of logs to the boom in Glens Falls each spring, but is now used by a few skilled (or suicidal) whitewater enthusiasts. The roar of the river is a constant companion as you proceed 1.2 miles to Hewitt Eddy, where the river broadens and the water becomes calmer. Either call this point you destination and return as you came, or proceed along the Hewitt Eddy Trail for .8 mile and find yourself on Rt. 28N, roughly .8 mile south of your car. If you choose to make a loop hike by returning to your car via the highway, keep in mind that cars zoom along 28N at a fast pace. Loop trip totals 2.8 miles; in and out to Hewitt Eddy: 2.4 miles.

Directions: The level trail is found on the west side of Rt. 28N, south of the Boreas River bridge. The bridge is 8.7 miles north of Minerva and 5.7 miles south of the intersection of Rt. 28N and the Tahawus Rd. Parking is located across the road from the trailhead.

Cascade Mountain

Trail Description: Although this is one of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, it is an exciting climb for all ages. This is a very easy climb, and takes the climber through forests of maple, birch and beech. Since it is such a popular mountain, there are always a good number of climbers on the trail and the summit. Cascade is not high enough to have a true alpine summit, but having been cleared by fire, the bare rocks afford incredible views of the surrounding peaks.

Directions: The trailhead is marked clearly by a DEC sign, on Rt. 73, in the town of Keene.

Owl's Head Mountain

Trail Description: This is a great hike for the entire family. It takes approximately 45 minutes round trip, and that includes rest stops. The ascent is 460 ft., and very easy for even the smallest climber. The summit is semi-wooded, and has spectacular views of the surrounding area, including Cascade Mountain, Pitchoff and Giant. As an added bonus, blueberry bushes abound.

Directions: Take Rt. 73 to Owls Head Acres, and turn here. This is about 3.2 miles above Keene. The turn out is on the left, and there should be a sign ( last time we climbed it, the sign was not there) for the trail.


Floodwood Mountain Hike

Trail Description: This small mountain south of Paul Smiths offers views across part of the St. Regis Canoe area to the High Peaks and west to Tupper Lake. The mountain used to belong to the Bergen County Boy Scouts but was added to the Forest Preserve in 1990, and this route uses a Boy Scout right of way to access the new public trail. The trail passes through a hardwood forest and is gently rolling for almost half a mile, then ascends steeply for the remaining half mile. The trail is abundantly marked with red discs. Enjoy the view at the northern summit, but follow the red markers for several hundred yards to the southern summit for even better views. This trail has wet spots that can generally be traversed on rock crossings . These wet spots can provide fodder for a discussion of trail responsibility, including the notion that some trails should not be hiked in spring when they are soft and muddy since hiking at the time causes bigger muddy spots, deeper ruts and kills young plants that help prevent erosion. Just under 3.5 miles round trip.

Directions: Take the Floodwood Rd. found on the west side of Rt. 30 roughly halfway between Paul Smiths and Tupper Lake. Follow this mostly-dirt road for 6.4 miles until a sign for Floodwood Scout Reservation appears on the left. Turn left onto the reservation; within .3 mile there is a well-marked public parking area. From the parking lot, continue to follow the reservation road past a gate to the beginning of the public trail, about .7 mile.

Panther Mountain Hike

Trail Description: Panther Mountain is a good first hike for children, since the trail begins ascending immediately and reaches a summit with gorgeous views in .8 mile. The open feeling of the hemlock forest with its lacy canopy is appealing to youngsters, as well. This is a 1.6 mile round-trip.

Directions: The trailhead is located on Rt. 3, between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, roughly 1.5 miles east of the intersection of Rts. 3 and 30. The parking area (and access to Panther Pond) is found on the south side of the road, and the trail begins across the road, marked by the yellow on brown sign. Take care crossing the busy highway.

Azure Mountain

Trail Description: Spectacular views are what await you at the rocky ledge on this summit. You will find this trail, refreshingly removed from the crowds that ascend the high peaks. There is an abandoned fire tower at the summit, and the rocky ledge provides excellent views.

Directions: The trip to the trail head is almost as interesting as the hike up the mountain. Take Keese's Mill Rd. off of Rt. 30, just north of Paul Smith's College in Franklin County, This paved road melds imperceptibly into Blue Mountain Rd. From Rt. 30 to the Azure Mountain trail head is 17.5 miles. The paving peters out, and most of the driving is on dirt road. The parking area for the trail is found across from a corrugated metal building.

St. Regis Mountain

Trail Description: The 2 1/2 mile climb begins easily enough as you gradually hike through a hardwood forest. After about 1/2 mile, you will see some of the Camp Topridge outbuildings on your left. Shortly after passing a ranger cabin, the ground rises more steeply, and the final ascent is steep . Even though this is not a short climb, it is a good and interesting climb for kids. Views from the summit are magnificent.*Info. provided by Adk. Park VIC
Directions: Take Rt. 30 from the south, turn left on Keese Mill Rd. just after passing Paul Smith's College. Drive 2 1/2 miles to where a gravel road enters on the left. Take this road 1/2 mile until it ends in a parking area in front of the Camp Topridge gate.

Please remember if you bring it in, make sure you bring it out!!!