The Virginia, Maryland, and DC area is rich with outdoor adventures, in every direction that you go, there is something for everyone. Whether it's families, infants, babies, toddlers, or you're just looking for a moderately easy hike, these options are excellent.
Oftentimes, it's hard to decide where to start and why. Especially when you're adventures include a family or even a baby.
Over the course of the past 2 months, we welcomed a new member to the tribe. She's a spry little girl that we've been trekking around the area on adventures to test out what's manageable for us and how the mechanics work with our schedule for her. With a few considerations, you too can adventure out with your family on a fun hike.
Considerations for Family Hiking Trails
However, if the times don't work and you're a little more adventurous. There are a few things we recommend as you prepare to get outside and how the following hikes are planned, consider:
Length: We've found that 2 to 4 miles are the appropriate length for our little one, yours might be shorter or longer depending on your own tribe
Vertical Change: This is the amount of incline and decline that you have to gruel when out and about, the following are minimal inclines or declines for that matter
Accessibility: Facilities and cellular coverage are the first that come to mind for us. Many websites are available to show cellular coverage, Find Phone Signal With Cell Phone Coverage Maps - Gaia GPS.
Great Hikes for Families in Maryland
With thousands of miles of trails to choose from, Maryland is a gem of a state. Options are prevalent and you don't really need to go that far from Northern Virginia, DC, and central Maryland.
The Camp Wood Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park is an excellent and beautiful area. There are a few sections that are a little steep, but nothing that would be considered overwhelming. And if you outfit yourself with GAIA GPS or OnX, you can navigate new trails.
Length: 2.66 mi.
Ascent: 511 ft
The trails are maintained and the area has beautiful scenery and access to the renowned Gunpowder Falls river which is known for fly fishing in the area.
Be Warned: The Fishermans Trail is not maintained, it requires some 'bushwhacking.'
If you've scrolled through previous blog posts, we've talked about this one before. The Frederick Municipal Forest watershed area in our opinion is one of the best-kept secrets of Maryland. The scenery is unmatched and the ascent and descent are also reasonable for family hikes. With miles of trails to expand or reduce your hike, you can choose your own adventure with this trek.
Length: 3.85 mi.
Ascent: 378 ft
Cell: Spotty with AT&T, download an Offline Map to your phone
Another area that has so much potential for wandering the trails and really having a great experience. Some are wide enough for an all-terrain stroller, some are single-track, and all are beautiful.
Length: 3.16 mi.
Ascent: 430 ft
Located near Potomac, this trail has a maze of turns and twists throughout with a wonderful river entry right at the parking. Bring your adventurous spirit because you can take any number of trails that are all beautiful with minimal climbing up and down hills.
Length: 3.59 mi.
Ascent: 411 ft
Be Warned: Avoid the trails across the bridge to the right, there is a yellow jacket nest in one of the stumps which can take the joy out of the day quickly, they are spicy little creatures.
These are just a few of the many trails that we think are family-friendly. Be careful out there, make sure you're prepared and familiarize yourself with the areas, and have fun! Go get outside!