10 High Country Hikes for Kids Under 10
Looking for a nice hike that your children will be able to participate in with ease? There are plenty of options here in the High Country, and we are here to help you find them!
Blue Ridge Parkway
- Price Lake Loop Trail @ Milepost #297.0- This flat trail is also a Kids in Parks TRACK trail. Pick up a map at the trailhead for a scavenger hunt to play along the way. The trail stays close to the lake, leaving lots of chances to skip rocks or wade on a hot day. The trail also goes through portions of Price Park Campground and passes a bathroom station. (One way mileage- 2.3)
- Figure 8 Trail @ Milepost #294.1- Located on the Parkway near the Moses Cone Park, the Figure 8 Trail is the perfect leg-stretching trail as well as a nice self guided woodland tour which is perfect for children of any age. (One way mileage- .70)
- Linn Cove Viaduct Access Trail @ Milepost #304.4- This very short paved path provides access to the underside of the Viaduct, which is the most prominent structure built along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Kids love to look at the construction of the bridge and listen to the cars pass over them! (One way mileage- .16)
- Linville Falls Trail @ Milepost #316.4- The easier of the two Linville Falls trails will take you to a view of the upper falls which shows where the river makes its first big drop off the mountain. This is an amazing view, and is perfectly safe for children to participate as well. (One way mileage- .80)
Kids in Parks TRACK Trails
The Kids in Parks TRACK Trails program provides a network of kid-friendly trails. Children can even earn free prizes by going on the trails and tracking them on their website. For more information, visit: www.kidsinparks.com
- Elk Knob State Park- This 1 mile loop trail is an easy hike with clearly marked yellow diamonds that will guide you through the trail. Hikers will be able to enjoy wildflowers, salamanders, butterflies and many other signs of wildlife. There is camping, picnic tables, and restrooms available as well.
- Mount Jefferson State Natural Area- This whole 1.1 mile trail is a moderately strenuous loop that offers a few beautiful views over the mountain while offering a few trail options in order to fit anyone's schedule and hiking ability. The Summit Trail is a .3 mile hike that goes to the top of Mt. Jefferson, and the Rhododendron Trail is a 1.1 mile loop that requires more caution when approaching the Luther Rock overlook.
- New River State Park- This TRACK trail is a part of the Hickory Trail, which begins on the side of the New River visitor center and continues as a 1 mile long loop that has a short out-and-back spur that delivers hikers to the edge of the New River. This is a beautiful trail that makes its way through the forest, down to the rivers edge, up through a mountain meadow and back to the visitor center through a pine thicket. There is also a museum about the New River and its history as being one of the oldest rivers in North America. There is also opportunities for canoeing/kayaking, camping, fishing, birding, picnics, and playgrounds as well.
- Stone Mountain State Park- This TRACK Trail is located on a portion of the park's Stone Mountain Trail. The TRACK portion is an easy .8 mile trail that runs from the Lower Trailhead parking lot to the historic Hutchinson Homestead. This trail is a great picnic opportunity, and offers restrooms as well.
- W. Kerr Scott Reservoir- This TRACK Trail and location has the most to offer, including lots of fun family activities! There is a paved bike path, mountain bike trails, canoeing & kayaking, camping, picnic areas, fishing, birding, and playgrounds available to the public. The trail, which is on the Fish Dam Creek Trail, is an out-and-back trail and is approximately 1 mile long.
- Orchard at Altapass- This unique TRACK trail is located along a series of newly opened trails at the Historic Apple Orchard located in Spruce Pine, NC, called the Eric L. Gressel Memorial Trails. The trails lead hikers along groves of apple trees, through woods that overlook the Altapass, near the historic Clinchfield Railroad Line and past the grave-site of famous local legend, Charlie McKinney.