Family Hiking Tips

Looking for a great way to spend a day? Take a hike!
The ideal activity to get your feet moving, your heart pumping and your camera snapping. Whether it’s a local trail or a weekend adventure, it’s a great activity the whole family can enjoy.

Before you start, here are some tips for a fun-filled, safe, adventure:
1. Take It Easy
Choose a trail that isn’t too long or strenuous, and has interesting features for the kids to explore: a stream or waterfall, a bird’s nest. Children are natural explorers, so give them the time to discover new things.
2. Nutrition & Hydration
Take energy breaks to avoid cranky kids. Bring along snacks and lots to drink. Freeze little juice boxes ahead of time for hikes. They thaw in 2-5 hours and can be used as edible icepacks. Bring a variety of small snacks and make frequent stops.
3. Be Prepared
Hiking preparedness leads to a happy day. Along with the ten essentials to good hiking bring along wet-wipes, binoculars, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, band-aids, and your phone for photos. Field guides for many trails can be found online, but printing them off is a good idea in case you lose a signal, or your phone’s battery is low.

4. Dress The Part
Along with proper hiking shoes, don’t forget to bring hats for the sun and rain gear in case the weather turns. Layers are important, as the temperature may change during your hike. And finally, if your youngster likes to get dirty, an extra set of clothes may be in order.
5. Follow the Leader
Let your kids lead the pack. It allows them to feel in charge, and set the pace. Be sure to rotate, so everyone gets a turn to lead the way.

Let your kids take turns leading the way

6. Leave No Trace
It’s important to teach kids to respect the land. When on a hike, keep any garbage to dispose of properly. But it doesn’t end there. If you dig a hole, cover it up. Don’t pick the flowers, take a photo instead, and leave the trees alone. For more info on how you can leave no trace visit

When exploring outdoors it’s important to leave things the way you found them

Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to choose the trail that’s right for you. Our communities in Aurora and Midhurst are close to many family-friendly hiking trails. Here are a few close to:

Allegro Aurora:
Aurora currently maintains approximately 62 kilometres of trails ideal for hiking. In developing the Allegro Trail System, Geranium worked closely with Aurora’s Master Trail Plan to create a continuous green corridor running from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street, with connections to several existing trails, including the 11.4 km Oak Ridges Moraine Trail.
Highland Gate Central Park: This newly opened park next to Allegro has 7.5 km of public trails including a lighted asphalt trail, and a granular trail with fitness benches.
Klaus Wehrenberg Trail: This trail connects with the Tim Jones Trail in Sheppard’s Bush; a 6.6 km out-and-back trail that’s popular for birding, hiking and biking and is part of the Oak Ridges Trail.
Nokiidaa Trail: (also known as the Tim Jones Trail): This 5 km trail runs along the Holland River, and features a mix of paved and natural paths. It’s a great spot for birdwatching and nature observation, and is suitable for older children and adults.

Download Aurora’s interactive trail map.

This overhead shows the many trails located within Allegro in Aurora

Midhurst Valley:
Midhurst Valley is rooted in the heart of breathtaking natural beauty, so many trails and outdoor activities are close by. Here are just a few:
Hickling Trail: Part of the Simcoe County Loop Trail, the Hickling Recreational Trail is a 1.5km stretch that is accessible and ideal for your first family adventure. Next to Midhurst Valley in the township of Springwater.
• Springwater Provincial Park: This park offers several hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty, including the 2.5 km Lakeshore Trail and the 5 km Little Lake Trail. The park also has picnic areas, a beach, and other recreational activities.
Copeland Forest: This forest in Barrie features over 4,400 acres of trails and conservation areas, including the 3 km Horseshoe Valley Trail and the 6 km Oro-Medonte Rail Trail. It’s a great spot for hiking, biking, and nature observation, and is suitable for older children and adults.
Sunnidale Park: This park features a mix of paved and natural trails through a wooded area, with plenty of benches and picnic areas along the way. Their online guided tree walk takes users on an interactive tour and is especially popular with families.
Check out Simcoe County’s Interactive Trail Maps here.

Now you’re ready for your adventure. Remember it’s the journey, not the destination. Happy hiking!

Start your hiking adventures early, and remember it’s the journey not the destination


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *