Do you have preschoolers or young children in the house and want to get them out hiking? Not sure what family friendly hikes are out there?

It’s important to choose the right trail so that children and parents can enjoy the experience. There’s nothing more frustrating than tacking a trail that leaves little legs too tired and parents hauling around and extra 40 pounds of kids and gear!

When choosing my top 5 hikes I was looking for hikes that met the following criteria:

1. Were actual hikes! – I wanted to challenge our bodies with elevation, climbing, terrain, and obstacles. I wasn’t looking for a “walk in the park”

2. Had a variety of terrain – Variety is the spice of life, especially when you’re a pre-schooler with a short attention span. So I chose to focus on hikes that had a combination of wide trails, board walks, bridges, stairs, roots, and narrow areas to navigate. This keeps the kids interested and engaged in the process.

3. Had a point of interest. My top three hikes had a point of interest for the kids to “reach” or accomplish. I enjoy a good view and so do my little people.

4. Are they family friendly? There’s nothing more frustrating than being on an adult trail and having yourself or your little people in the way of athletes running by!

Top hikes for families in Greater Vancouver

1. Lighthouse Park – This park was an unexpected surprise! We thought we were there to discover a lighthouse but came across so much more! Beaches, forests, historical sights, check, check, check!

A Family hike to Lighthouse Park was full of wonderful surprises!

A Family hike to Lighthouse Park was full of wonderful surprises!

2. Quarry Rock This is a hike. You’ll sweat and have to take breaks if you’re with little people… and maybe even have to give them a piggy back for a minute or two. But after 45 minutes of making your way to the top, the view is unforgettable and worth every single step!

Quarry Rock Family Hike

Quarry Rock Family Hike

3. Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge – This is an excellent park for those seeking a neat experience of crossing a suspension bridge as well as hiking on a variety of terrain. My kids loved playing in the river, taking turns leading and racing up the stairs. Oh, and boy did they sleep that night!

Family Fun Day at Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge

Family Fun Day at Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge

4. Malcolm Knapp Reforestation Park This park came on recommendation to me by a group of Mom’s in Langley and I had never heard of it. It was an AMAZING find with beautiful trails meandering through the protected forests. We got a bit lost, but had fun along the way!

Malcolm Knapp Research Forest - My search for local adventure!

Malcolm Knapp Research Forest – My search for local adventure!

5. Tynehead Park – This one was a more sentimental park for me to have on the list. It didn’t meet ALL the criteria (the terrain isn’t as varied as the others and it’s more entry level when it comes to hiking (it’s 100% stroller friendly). However this park was one that I grew up in and has so many inspirational points of interest and great memories that I figured it deserved a place on my list of Top Hikes for families!

Tynehead Park is a great place to take the family, I should know, I grew up there and now love taking my kids there!

Tynehead Park is a great place to take the family, I should know, I grew up there and now love taking my kids there!

Click here for the Top 7 Family Friendly Hikes in the Fraser Valley

Happy Trails!

Jami