To Summit Up, Hiking is Good Family Fun!

Lace your boots and load up your pack, it’s time to discover what’s off the beaten path.

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 fun 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 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!

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Experience More of the Great Outdoors!

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles

All Ages
The Leave No Trace 7 Principles are a framework for safe and sustainable recreation. Practicing Leave No Trace ethics can help protect the lands, waters, and communities we all know and love, ensuring they remain beautiful and unique for generations to come. Read the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and take the Love Your Adirondacks Pledge to be a good steward in your own neck of the woods!

Get Up & Go Play!: Nature Hike with Abby | Young Explorers

Grades PreK-K
Playing outside makes kids happier, healthier and stronger! In this segment Abby Brown goes on a nature hike with a group of kids to discover and identify as many different plants as possible. Naturalist Dave offers tips for plant identification.

4 Family Benefits of Going Outside Together

Grades PreK-3
A fun, simple, and potentially local experience is to head outdoors! Getting out into nature is a wonderful family activity. It incorporates physical activity, family bonding, and learning — not to mention, it’s really fun!

7 Ideas to Get Creative on a Family Walk

Grades PreK-3
Looking for new ideas for your family walks outside? Here are seven simple ways to turn a family nature walk into an enjoyable adventure for everyone.

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. 

Activities, Crafts & More

10 Picture Books that Inspire Outdoor Exploration

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!

Local Organizations & Resources

Hiking on the Adirondack Coast

All Ages
Getting ready to go hiking on the Adirondack Coast? With more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails winding through the Adirondack Park, planning your trip can seem like a journey of its own. Check out a variety of hiking locations from lake shores to mountaintops and a map to great walks and day hikes. Learn more from the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau.

Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center

All Ages
The Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center is dedicated to fostering connections with nature for students, local residents, and regional visitors by providing outdoor recreation opportunities, experiential education programs, and year-round art exhibitions. Explore over 25 miles of year-round trails for hiking, nature watching, lean-to camping, and more! Stop in at the center for current trail conditions and day or season passes.

Saranac Lake 6ers

All Ages
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.

The Adirondack 46ers

All Ages
The Adirondack Forty-Sixers Inc. is a non-profit hiking and service club whose members have climbed the summits of the 46 peaks over 4,000 feet in elevation in the Adirondack mountains of northern New York State. Members are dedicated to environmental protection, education for proper usage of wilderness areas, and participation in New York State Department of Environmental Conservation-approved trail projects. Visit their website to learn how to become a registered ADK 46er, the history of how it all got started, and what to know before you go.