I'm often asked what I think the best hikes for families are and it always leaves me running through our trips trying to decide if I should recommend them as family friendly or not. I've come to the conclusion that there really isn't a such thing as "family friendly" because what may work for my family, may not work for yours.
I think it's important to remember that when hiking, as with many other things, it's really about the experience and skill set each individual/family posses that will determine what they can handle. If a child hikes often then they can probably handle a 3-5 mile hike, trails with rougher terrain or elevation changes. In fact, my boys just accidentally completed their first 5 mile hike a few weeks ago and handled like champs! So why box them in to a phrase and let it be the determining factor as to what they can do?
I'm sure I'll continue using the phrase "family or kid friendly"because as a mom of 3, it's completely ingrained on my brain. But my goal is to focus more on skills and past experiences and being mindful that kids are capable of much more than we give them credit for!
Do you like to challenge your family when hiking or prefer to stick to those that are considered "family friendly"? Let me know how you do it in the comments below!
If you're planning a visit to North Alabama anytime soon, check out a few of our favorite hikes and add them to your trip!