Take to the trail for fresh air and adventure. Here are four places for families to take a hike.
1. AVALANCHE LAKE, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, WEST GLACIER, MONTANA
Witness some of the most extraordinary scenery the national park system has to offer from towering cedar and hemlock trees to a pristine lake with waterfalls as a backdrop. The trail launches from the wheelchair and stroller accessible Trail of the Cedars one-mile loop. Stay in nearby Whitefish, where lake activities, restaurants, farmers markets and golf add to your vacation experience.
2. GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT, KANAB, UTAH
To find your favorite section of this stunning terrain, visit the 1.7-million-acre national monument known for winding slot canyons, mesas, roughly carved buttes and the “crookedest river in the world.” Established in 1996, the national monument includes the Canyons of the Escalante, carved by the area’s namesake river and its tributaries, and serves up numerous popular hikes. Families like to visit during the dry months to hike and wade the river.
3. CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Take a break from hiking from museums to galleries, and stretch your legs on a historic and scenic path just 20 minutes from the capital. The trail begins at the Old Angler’s Inn and follows the canal towpath for 2.3 miles to the Great Falls Tavern, passing old locks along the way. The canals provided a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River. In the same area, consider The Billy Goat Trail, a 4-mile loop hike.
4. STATE FOREST STATE PARK, WALDEN, COLORADO
Sprawled along the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains and reaching into the Never Summer Range, travelers will find 71,000 acres of alpine lakes, forest and plenty of hiking trails in this expansive state park, plus more than 600 resident moose. Expand your knowledge of these compelling creatures in the educational visitors center. Ask about the local geocaching possibilities and the possibility to spend the night in one of several yurts in the park.