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.
The Importance of Outdoor Play
Playing outside is one of the best ways for children to be healthy their whole lives. Yet, for many reasons, adults sometimes find it hard to get children outside or need more confidence in their abilities to get the most out of playtime. Check out this online booklet from Recreatoin Nova Scotia for parents, caregivers, and staff who deliver children's programming. Why Outdoor Play Matters: A practical guide for Parents and Caregivers
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.
Activities on the Trail for Children & Youth
- 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
Children and youth can earn a badge through the Hiker Challenge
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. There are five challenges and badges.
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
Backyard Nature Activities: Occupy the kids in your backyard or nearby nature
View activities on our blog
Earth Walk Kit Loans
Borrow one of these kits to help engage kids in fun nature activities. Learn more here
Re-Connecting with Nature Workshop
This is a one-day, hands-on workshop for adults that is held mostly outdoors to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth. Learn more here
Earth Adventures is an exciting new website and phone app (earthadventures.ca
) that provides easy-to-follow instructions for self-guided activities for families and small youth groups on 30 short trails in some of the most popular and beautiful locales in Halifax and Kings Counties. Perfect for fall adventures with friends and family!
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.