A Few Charlottesville Area Hikes for Kids

October. It’s one of the best months in Charlottesville, and certainly one of the best for hiking, biking, being outdoors.

A friend emailed me the other day –

I’d like to start getting my kids more involved in family hikes. They are 8 and 7. Do you have favorite hikes to recommend as a place to start for them?

I’ve been riding my bicycle a lot more than hiking in the past two years, so I asked another friend, Carrie, who writes the outstanding Comfort in the Wild blog, for her insight and she was was gracious enough to send a detailed response, and let me publish it. Thank you!

“One group for the family to check out would be Hike it Baby Charlottesville. They have a Facebook page and there is everything from toddler meet ups to family-adult paced hikes.

Hikes in or near Charlottesville

1. Pen Park fitness trail – 2 Mile hike – starts out paved then switches to dirt path in the woods.

2. Trails at Mint Spring in Crozet (various mileage/loops depending on their kiddos stamina)
3. Rockfish Valley Trail – a few loop options. Starts right near Bold Rock Cidery (bonus for parents!)

Shenandoah National Park

1. Little Calf Mountain – 2 miles or so. short hike to a grassy meadow with views
2. Bearfence – .8 mile – very short hike, great views. Short rock scramble.
3. Blackrock Summit – 1 mile – short hike with cool rocks to play on and amazing views
4. Story of the Forest – 1.8 miles – easier trail right off the Byrd Visitor Center in SNP. Meander through trees and over 2 bridges. No epic views, but cool trail and we always see lots of wildlife on this one.
5. Turk Mountain – 2.2 miles – love this hike for seeing fall color and a nice view at the top. but it is uphill most of the way.
6. Stony Man – 1.6 miles – this is one of my favorites, but it’s pretty far north on the skyline drive. Incredible views that you don’t have to work that hard for!”

I’ve said it before – let’s take time to appreciate what the amazing place in which we choose to live.

(One of my favorites remains Spy Rock.)



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