5 Fun (and Kid-Friendly) North Carolina Hikes for the Family

5 Fun (and Kid-Friendly) North Carolina Hikes for the Family


You like the idea of taking the kids for a hike. Now it’s just a matter of convincing them it’s a good idea. And that can be a challenge with so many appealing activities vying for their attention. The answer?

Make hiking sound even more appealing.

Wanna go see a waterfall? Would you believe there’s a place near here where you can see 50 miles — or father — into the distance? Have you ever wondered what giant, prehistoric beavers might be capable of?

What kid could resist all that?

Having a hook is key to a successful family hike. So is hiking a trail that’s not too long, not too hard. (Snacks help, too.)

Here are 5 family-friendly hikes that fit the bill.

1. High Shoals Falls Trail

South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs (south of Morganton)

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy, moderate when you get to the falls

Highlights: Mountain creek, waterfalls

Every hike should have a carrot: here, it’s an 80-foot cascade. From the main parking area at the end of South Mountain Park Avenue, the first three-quarters of a mile of hiking is along an old roadbed with a nearly imperceptible climb. And when the climbing does start, it’s of the fun kind as the path follows Jacob Fork through a boulder field to the base of High Shoals Falls, viewed best from a platform at the base of the falls.

Enjoy the falls’ spray, take a selfie, then head back the way you came. (The trail loops, but the view from the top isn’t worth the arduous climb up a wood staircase, nor the steep, knee-rattling return to the main trail).

More info here.





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