Hiking with Toddlers


Hiking image 1

This past weekend, my sister was traveling to New Hampshire and invited my family to attend.  My husband and I lived on the seacoast of New Hampshire for several years and I miss it terribly, so I jumped on the chance to visit New Hampshire.  We stayed in the White Mountains.  Fall foliage in the mountains, it doesn’t get much better then that! This was a great trip.  HikingWe went to the Squam Lake Nature Center one of the days.  I highly recommend it if you are traveling in New Hampshire.  We also did some hiking.  I wish this was a post about how I was completely prepared to go hiking with toddlers, but it is more like, I went hiking with  toddlers and here are some things I probably should of done kind of post. 

 I am so proud of my kids, my niece and nephew.  They did a great job.  My 2-year-old walked a lot of it and my 4-year-old did the whole hike.  We actually thought we were doing a walk, but it turns out it was a hike.  When some boulders are involved and you end with an amazing view, that is a hike.  My kids loved it.  This makes my heart full because I love hiking, being out doors and hope to pass this along to my kids.  So, here are some lessons learned about hiking with toddlers.

Ezra hiking jpeg

Hiking with Toddlers

1.Go slow

This is actually something that I talk about a lot and just shared in my post about a mindfulness walk with kids.  Your little ones can’t go that fast and nor do they want to.  They have short legs.  It is just impossible for them to go fast.  Also, they want to stop and look at the rocks, sticks, bugs, whatever.  This is actually a good thing.  We rush to much.  Learn from your kids.  Go slow and enjoy it.

2.Let go of expectations

If you are expecting that your kids will walk the whole way, enjoy the hike completely, please just let that go.  Chances are you will hold your kid.  If you are going to put any expectations on the hike, expect to hold your kid at some point.  Maybe have enough adult/child ratio so that you don’t have to hold more than one.

3.Bring snacks and water

Kids get hungry and need energy, so make sure they eat.

4. Tell your kids they are doing a great job

Encourage your kids along the way.  They need that. 

5. Look up the hike and make sure it is appropriate for hiking with little ones

Remember to always be safe. Know you can turn around if you need to.

I have attached another helpful article about hiking with toddlers here.  Being outdoors does a lot for our own happiness.  Connecting with nature, breathing the fresh air just helps one feel better.  Getting out and creating these memories with your children will be something that you both can hold on to.  I hope everyone gets out and enjoys the beauty this fall. Below are some pictures from our hike.  Not the best pictures, but I am glad I have some from this day.


all 4 kids2

Trying to get 4 toddlers to take a picture is impossible


lake pic

family photo hiking

 Be Happy,

Jessica Lynn


  1. Becky Daye says:

    Thank you for sharing your blog at MOPS today! I look forward to reading your words.
    I love hiking with my kids and I am constantly amazed at how well they do. The reminder to let go of expectations is such a good one. I find this is especially true with picture taking. I want to capture the moments, but they just want to live in the moment. Learning to find a balance in that!
    Thanks again,

  2. Tara Newman says:

    Hi Jessica
    Loved this post about taking kids hiking. It can be a challenge but I find if I stay calm and at ease, they will stay longer on the trail. Taking breaks to let them explore and going at their pace is key for us.

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