Our family loves to hike. We honestly don’t do it as much as we would like to, because with one (now two) little ones, it can be hard to find trails that are easy enough for all of us. But after asking some other mommas and trying out a few ourselves, I’ve come up with 6 family friendly hikes around Burlington. So grab your kiddos and a picnic lunch and go exploring!
1. Mills Riverside Park, Jericho- This 216 acre park provides stunning views of Mt. Mansfield. There are over six miles of flat trails that are great for children. This is also one of the only parks that offer several acres of off-leash running area for dogs. The entrance to the park is a beautiful covered bridge, and along your hikes you will encounter beautiful views of Mt Mansfield, wide open meadows, and a small, well-stocked fishing pond.
2. Audubon Trails at The Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington- 5 miles of trails weave their way through this beautiful scenery located along the Huntington River. During the summer months you definitely want to check out the butterfly garden located next to Barn, which also houses the Discovery room full of interactive displays and activities for the little ones. There are also some great swimming/wading areas along the river for you and the little ones to cool off and have some fun! In the spring time you can also check out the sugar house and see how maple syrup is made. And no matter what time of year you go, be sure to check out Lookout Rock for breathtaking views of the Green Mountains!
3. Mt. Philo, Charlotte- Mt. Philo is a family favorite because of it’s ease for families and it’s stunning views. Once at the top you get amazing views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains behind it. The hike is a little over 2 miles round trip and is great for beginners as well as the little ones. At the top you will find a great grassy area for the little ones to run around and a picnic area to stop and have some lunch before making your way back down again. There are lots of wonderful nooks, crannies, and caves to explore, making for a fun and interesting hike!
4. Mount Elmore, Elmore- This is a great hike if you are looking for multiple options for some family fun on a summer day! Mount Elmore is known for it’s fabulous view from the Fire Tower and it’s great sandy beach at the base. While the best views can be seen from the fire tower, you may want to stop at the overlook where the old fire watcher’s cabin used to be if you are hiking with young children or dogs, because the trail after this point becomes rougher and steeper.
5. LaPlatte River Marsh Nature Area Trail, Shelburne- This 211 acre preserve is located near Shelburne Farms and follows the LaPlatte River and the surrounding marsh. It is a very easy 1.4 mile trail that allows for some great bird sightings. Your little ones will see all kinds of birds including ospreys, woodpeckers, great blue herons, and ducks.
6. Moss Glen Falls Trail, Stowe- This is a great hike for the whole family! Located right in between Stowe and Waterbury, it is a short (1 mile), simple hike up to the beautiful Moss Glen Falls. Word of warning: The trail is not very well marked, but the route is obvious. This trail also connects to a snowmobile trail, so be careful not to follow the wrong trail back.
What are your favorite family friendly hikes?
Interested in learning about a few more hikes perfect for families around Burlington? Check out Rachel’s list of the Top 4 Local Hiking Trails to Tackle with Your Kids Before They Turn 10.
Also be sure to check out our post on 9 Tips for Hiking with Kids That Goes Beyond the Basics!