Kid-Friendly Hikes are a Really Fun Thing To Do in North Conway!
Updated: Oct 14, 2022
North Conway and the White Mountains have some of the best spots for kid and family friendly hikes! There are many outdoor kid friendly things to do in North Conway but hiking is the most popular.
Got a few free hours? Want to be home by lunch? Grab the kids and head out to one of these trails that are kid friendly 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:
Age of child(ren)
To up your success rate, think like a child and more specifically, your child.
You might want to answer these questions before planning a hike with kids:
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!
HIkes are a cheap, kid friendly thing to do in North Conway and if you do your homework, you and the kids will have an awesome day!
Before you go for a hike with your kids, 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:
Present the kids with two ability appropriate options and let them pick. Do a Google image search of the destination so they can see what they will experience
Let them pick weather appropriate clothing (while hiking we have seen that even a Spider Man costume might be appropriate)
Consider inviting a like-minded friend of your child
Read up on Geocaching. It's FUN!
Let them make a list of snacks they'd like to bring and STOP FOR BREAKS OFTEN
Select non-tech gadgets for them to bring: nippers, treasure sack, camera, paper/pencil and compass are a start. Let your imagination help you!
Next need to pack:
Appropriate gear for the weather: rain gear, cold weather gear, reflective blanket, etc.
First aid kit
Whistle (caution them not to "cry wolf")
Hydration - plenty of it!
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?"
For things to do in North Conway, a hike up Jockey Cap "mountain" is simple, short and my personal favorite.
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 Jockey Cap's brass ring! It allows you to easily identify every mountain in view!
Cathedral Ledge in North Conway, NH is a 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 Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge’s were formed during the last ice-age. They both are as prominent as Mt Washington when driving through North Conway.
A favorite for kids of all ages! The cost of admission is cheaper than the parking ticket you'll get if you park along the road.
The hike around Echo Lake is a flat and easy 1 mile hiking trail loop. It's perfect for the young and young at heart.
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!
Pack a lunch and a drink. There are plenty of spots where you can kick back and have lunch or enjoy the view.
The state park has changing rooms and a large beach area for your enjoyment.
If you have any young fishermen in your family, bring a pole and some bait to test your luck.
Boulder Loop Trail is a short drive off the Kancamagus Highway and worth your afternoon. This is a good trail for those wanting a bit more of a challenge.
There is a beautiful covered bridge called Albany Covered Bridge at the base plus a boulder strewn river to swim or cool off.
Pack a lunch and swim gear so you can cool off after your several hour hike.
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.