Looking for resources to plan hikes with kids

9:16 p.m. on June 29, 2009 (EDT)
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Hi, I've been doing net searches trying to figure out how to plan an overnight backpacking trip for me and my boys. Quick rundown of experience and ages:

Me and the 13 yr old: Belong to a backpacking Scout troop, he has over 150 miles and I have just under 100. Not a lot, but we're comfortable out there.

11 yr old: Just joined the troop. Finished 6 mile overnight intro.

7 yr old: Likes camping. No real hiking experience.

We're in Virginia, USA and I'm trying to figure out how to research trails and camp sites near us. The AT or the Tuscora (sp?) or something else would be fine. I just would like something where the campsite is about 3 miles from the trailhead.

So the main question is: How do experienced hikers research this information? Is there a recommended book to buy? Call NPS? Troll the internet and post on forums like this? All the above? Another option?

 

Thanks!

10:15 p.m. on June 29, 2009 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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Hi reswob, welcome to Trailspace.

First thing I would suggest is to purchase a hiking trail guidebook for your state, cost is around 15.00 for most. These can be found at almost all outfitter stores, or online just google it.

The NPS website network is another great resource, and most have a trail guide for their trail system available for purchase on the website so you can study up in advance, or you can pick one up at the Ranger Station as you sign in.

Do searches for trail info after you have picked a few likely trails out of a trail guide, you should find lots of sites that offer info on those trails.

You probably have hiking clubs in your area that can also be a vaulable resource. The one I used to belong to went on overnight hikes quite often and this allowed me to learn firsthand from others with a lot more experience than me.

Yep, ask on forums! You will get a wide variety of advise, I would say pick through that advise and you should see a lot of it that is similar in nature. That will be the better advise, throw the wild cards out, if you will. Don't be scared to ask someone on a forum how much experience they have or when was the last time they hiked that trail (trails change) and stuff like that.

I guess all of the above. Mostly stay plugged in to Trailspace! This is a very good website.

See ya

10:18 a.m. on June 30, 2009 (EDT)
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123 forum posts

is there a good gear store in your town?

a lot of times the people there are very knowlegeable and can help guide you to some of their favorite "easier" trails. also don't be afraid to check the state parks. they often have lots of shorter trails. that may be a good way to get the younger 2 introduced to hiking.

one scouter to another -- enjoy

11:52 a.m. on June 30, 2009 (EDT)
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39 forum posts

I also agree with the above post... If your in VA and looking at the AT or areas around it, I have found the NPS site for Shenandoah has a lot of good recommendations Backcountry camping and trip plans plan based off of your groups ability and how many nights you want to spend out. They have good trip description of the hike as well as alternative options on most of the trips. It's a great park too if you haven't been yet...

http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/campbc_trip_plans.htm

9:11 p.m. on July 1, 2009 (EDT)
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649 forum posts

reswob Welcome to Trailspace

August 23, 2014
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