Family-Friendly Spring Hikes

Spring is coming and it’s a good time to head outdoors for some fun and fitness. Here are some good beginner trails for kids.

Withrow Springs State Park in Huntsville has two great family-friendly trails. Perfect for spring because of the dogwoods and trillium you’ll find on it is the Dogwood Loop. It’s only .6 of a mile total. It starts a little steep but eventually levels out before heading downhill. Or if you’re up for 2.1 miles round trip, take the Forest Trail. It’s nice and wide and fairly flat, and will have plenty of dogwood trees as well.

The Lost Valley Trail is 2.1 miles round trip, but it is a very easy hike. I’ve done this one a lot with my family and friends. The trail is located near the magical Buffalo National River. You’ll see a sign for Lost Valley off of Ark. 43 between Boxley and Ponca. The trail follows a creek up to its headwaters, making springtime a good time to follow this rushing water and to the waterfall treasure at the end, which is Eden Falls. You’ll also encounter caves too, so don’t forget your flashlight.

Mount_Magazine_State_Park_Spring_012_lAtop Mount Magazine in the Arkansas River Valley, Signal Hill Trail is a 1.5-mile round trip hike to the high point of Arkansas at 2,753 feet above mean sea level. It’s a fairly easy trail, although you will be going steadily up hill. There are benches and a sign at the top so you can take a Facebook or Twitter pic and let everyone know you made it to the top. Don’t miss a visit to the visitor center or lodge and restaurant of Mount Magazine State Park while you’re here.

Another trail I have always enjoyed is the Summit Park Trail, a one- mile trail to Fern Lake on top of Mount Nebo in the Arkansas River Valley near Russellville. Pick up a self-guided trail brochure at Mount Nebo State Park Visitor Center to help you with interpretive points along the way.


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