Whether you want to hike all 46 high peaks of the Adirondack mountains, or enjoy a leisurely walk through less rugged terrain like your local park or nature preserve, hiking is a great way to spend time as a family while learning about the great outdoors. Breathe the fresh air, observe animals and wildlife around you, and maybe even camp out for the night. No matter how you do it, you are sure to create lasting memories for years to come.
Keep reading for tips on how to make the most out of your family’s outdoor explorations, activities and books to support your child’s curiosity, and local hiking trails and challenges for beginners through experienced trekkers. And be sure to check out this list of hiking essentials, including how to do it all on a budget, as you plan your next hike!
Getting Kids Unplugged and Back to Nature Through Camping
Grades PreK-3 With the flicker of the campfire replacing the glow of the screen, weekends camping out in the woods are spent bonding as a family and immersing the kids in nature, which we know is good for them on so many levels.
Discover the Mountains | Plum Landing
Grades K-5 Join two families as they learn how mountains change from the bottom to the top while hiking in Massachusetts and Colorado, in this media gallery from Plum Landing. Throughout their mountain adventures, the families use mathematics and science skills like observing, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and communicating results.
Grades PreK-3 Longer days in the summer provide the perfect opportunity for outdoor exploration! Foster your child’s curiosity about the natural world with these ten books for ages 3-8.
Outdoor Explorer Bingo
Grades PreK-3 Are your little ones curious about the world around them? Have fun in the outdoors with these Outdoor Explorer Bingo cards! What wonders can your family find?
Create a Park Explorer Kit
Grades PreK-3 Finding unexpected treasures in your backyard or in the park will be even more interesting with a park explorer kit!
Children’s Books About Camping
Grades PreK-4 Camping may seem like hard work, but the outdoors can be a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Fishing, roasting, hiking and more provide endless opportunities to explore nature, so grab your flashlight or gather around the campfire and break out one of these books on camping for kids ages 1-9.
Local Organizations & Events
Clinton County Youth Bureau Hiking Challenge
From July to August 31st the Clinton County Youth Bureau is hosting a Hiking Challenge & Rock Scavenger Hunt. The Youth Bureau has placed painted rocks throughout all of Clinton County at local hiking trails and recreation parks. To participate, find a rock at any of the locations and send a picture of you and your family with it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This enters you into a special raffle for a hiking backpack to be announced September 1st. Please remember proper hiking etiquette while on the trails and at the parks, and don’t move or take the rocks – this way everyone can take part in the fun!
Saranac Lake 6ers
The Saranac Lake 6ers are people who’ve summited the six Adirondack peaks of McKenzie, Ampersand, Scarface, St. Regis, Haystack, and Baker. Saranac Lake is a hub for beginner and experienced hikers alike, with gently meandering paths, trails to lake-side views, and hikes that range from family-friendly to challenging. Become a Saranac 6er by climbing all six mountains and completing the online registration form. But before you head out, be sure to download the Saranac Lake 6er map and lace up your hiking boots for a fun time!