Hiking for Youth & Families

Hike NS believes that a love of the outdoors and of hiking starts at a young age, so we encourage families, schools, Scouts, Guides and other child- and youth-centred groups to get out on the trails! Hiking with children and youth can be so much fun. It’s not rocket science; just keep safety in mind, prepare properly and have some neat activities planned for the trail.

Safety
Follow the guidelines on our Hiking Safety page and check out AdventureSmart For Kids. Also check out our Ticks & Lyme Disease page to learn how to protect your family.

Prepare
  • Check out our Find a Trail page to locate and research a trail that’s appropriate for the ages and abilities of your group or family
  • Be sure to follow Leave No Trace Principles when out hiking, walking and snowshoeing
  • If you need snowshoes, check out our Snowshoeing page for guides on where to find them and how to use them
Activities on the Trail for Children & Youth
Children and youth can earn our Youth Hiker Distance Award Badge simply by hiking! Just tally the distances you hike over the course of a year and you could earn the badge! Adults can do the same and earn a pin.

Keep them engaged on the trail with some simple, but engaging activities. Check out our Activities for Children & Youth on the Trail resource for lots of ideas. Take our Re-Connecting with Nature workshop to learn how to engage children and youth with nature. Check out the Nature Playbook.

Read up about hiking with kids. Hikes with Tykes is a good read to get you ready to take the kids out on the trails, no matter how young. Moosebait, the Cape Breton hiking trails website, has some good advice for Hiking with Kids too.

Earth Walk Kit Loans
To help connect more kids with nature, Hike NS has partnered with various municipal recreation departments to provide loans of Earth Walk Kits. In eight locations across Nova Scotia there are two Earth Walk Kits per location. An Earth Walk Kit is a backpack full of props and tools to help adults run fun nature activities for kids aged 5 to 12. Kits are available to parents, grandparents, teachers, recreation staff, youth group volunteers and others who want to engage kids with nature. The kits are especially useful to the over 450 people in NS who have taken Hike NS’s Re-Connecting with Nature workshop. Learn more about the kits and locations here.

Hike with a Group
Check out the Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia, with chapters all over the province for the young naturalist in your life.

Families can also create their own WILD Family Nature Club

There are family-friendly hiking clubs available too. Check out the Find a Club page for a list.

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Promoting Hiking, Walking and Snowshoeing throughout Nova Scotia.