Suggestions for good 2-3 day kid friendly hikes?

5:25 a.m. on February 23, 2010 (EST)
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HI all, first off nice site, lots of info, I am looking for a nice 2-3 day hike (could be longer depending on terrain difficulty, etc) that my son and I can tackle, he is 5 and has been hiking since around 3, I personally have been hiking most of my life, backpacking only a couple of years now, we have been on many overnighters, multi-day paddle trips, etc. But I would like to get a bit out of our neighborhood so to speak, (Texas), that said I am considering big bend, but dont love the heat or lack of water, lol, Ouachita is tempting, not sure. I have alot of time in March/April, and I am willing to travel, dont think we are ready for any real cold cold weather camping, anyway suggestions are more than welcome! Thanks in advance!

p.s. By Kid friendly I mean no extremely treacherous climbs, or 15 mile days, lol! Anything other than that I will be the one lagging rest assured!

3:18 a.m. on February 24, 2010 (EST)
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101 forum posts

Texas is a BIG neighborhood, unfortunately 97% of it is private property so it really limits the places you can go. I lived far too many years in Houston so maybe I can suggest a few places.

There is the Four Notch Loop in the Sam Houston Nat. Forest outside of Huntsville that makes for a nice overnighter. It is a little over 10 miles with easy hiking through pine and hardwoods. The four notches are creeks that you have to cross and depending on the rains, may or may not have much water in them. The trail has blazes on it so it is not too difficult to follow and shares part of it's route with the Texas trail. About half way around the loop you will encounter an abandoned logging road that makes a good place to camp. I would suggest carrying all of your water with you rather than trying to filter the creek water. There is a good chance you will encounter a lot of wildlife.

The Texas trail is much longer but it is more of a point A to point B type of trek. It is hard to make a loop out of it to return to where you started. It also has blazes but parts of it follows existing roads so you have traffic to deal with.

Another nice place to hike is at Lost Maples state park NW of San Antonio. There are several trails in the area and creeks with good water. If I remember right, you have to camp in designated areas in the back country and make reservations. I have only day hiked here but it is really scenic countryside, especially in the Fall when the leaves are changing. It also gets crowded then so make your reservations well in advance if you go for the color.

This time of year is actually the best to hit the Big Bend area. Temps are mild but water availability is still a problem.

If you want to travel farther from home, the canyon country of Utah is really nice in March and April. The temps aren't too extreme but it can be a bit windy.

My son started backpacking when he was 5 and he loved it (and still does). Good hiking!

4:42 a.m. on February 26, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks these sound interesting, we are considering Big Bend seriously, but Utah sounds pretty interesting, still researching!

June 24, 2018
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