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April 15, 2021

Tips to have success when hiking with Kids | Chimney Rocks, North Carolina

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

My family and I have quickly fallen in love with hiking. Where we once booked vacations centered around beaches, we now search for places located by hiking trails and mountains. One of the reasons we choose the Asheville, North Carolina area to visit was due to their Hiking trials! Today, I will be sharing our adventures at the Chimney Rocks State park along with some tips for hiking with kids!
Chimney Rocks is basically a mammoth sized rock featuring panoramic views of the Hickory Nut Gorge. There are a few ways in which you can reach this 26-story attraction. Either by the convenient elevator provided or by hiking up the 500 steps to reach it. Let me just STOP right HERE and say we opted to hike up the stairs...
Would I recommend walking up the stairs with kids? Not particularly. In all honestly, I am not in the best shape after Covid-19. We hike sure but it's 500 Steps straight up. We had to stop, take water breaks, a snack break and I pretty much sweated out my weight. Afterwards, I truly felt I didn't need to hike it. I personally would have much preferred we rode the elevator up and walked the stairs down. We planned a full day at the State Park, so I think conserving your energy in the beginning is worth it! 
Hind sight is 20/20 so do what you feel works best for you.
As my son get older he seems to truly reap so many benefits from hiking. It’s therapeutic, calming, and a fantastic way to burn off both calories and excess energy! He and I felt such an accomplishment after hiking both the Chimney Rock and Hickory Falls trails on this day. It's something we still talk about so in the end it was a bonding experience. If you’re looking forward to doing the same, I have some helpful tips to consider.
Tips to have success when hiking with kids: 
● Make it fun. Sure, you’re walking around and taking a look at everything around you, but you want to make it even more enjoyable for the kids. Talk to them about the things you’re all seeing outside, engage in good conversation, and even play games, such as “I Spy.” 
● Choose an area that is beginner-friendly. You don’t want to take the kids on complicated hiking trails that will wear them out before they even get started. It’s better to start off with simple, easy trails. 
● Bring the essentials. It’s best to have each kid wear a small hiking backpack that would contain bottles of water and some snacks, such as a protein bar and trail mix. Be sure to have sunscreen for everyone to use to avoid sunburn while being out in the sun. 
● Make it a habit. Try to get into the routine of hiking a few times per week with the kids. Even if they’re skeptical about doing it at first, they’ll grow to love it just as much as you will.
● Hiking can lead to stress relief but also build a great future copying activity. If you children have strong feelings or are bottled up gosh get them out in nature on a trail. After we walk for a bit my son starts telling me all of the things going on with him. It's almost therapeutic and helps him with any strong emotions he might be experiencing.
You can have a great time hiking with your children. 
You’ll get to explore new areas while spending quality time outdoors. Which places would you like to visit most when hiking with the kids?
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6 comments

  1. Looks like an awesome place to visit! Adding it to my list!

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  3. We climbed an insane amount of stairs to see from the tops of lighthouses in the Outer Banks and it was a memory my kids still smile over. Great post.

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  4. I love hiking, I hope my future kids will love it too!

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  5. When my husband and I moved to AZ, we got into hiking. You captured some fab photos of you trip! Looks like you had amazing views, too. Awesome!

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  6. So many great places to get out and explore! Hiking is great fun, I hope to get out more this year.

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