Visiting the Monongahela National Forest with kids is a great way to introduce them to the beauty of nature and the great outdoors. There are many, shorter, less challenging trails that are great way to get your kids started.
These are some of the factors that i took into consideration when picking these trails
- Trail Length: Choose a trail that is not too long for your child’s stamina level. Start with a shorter trail and work your way up to longer ones.
- Terrain: Consider the trail’s terrain and make sure it’s suitable for your child’s age and experience level. Avoid steep or rocky trails if your child is not used to hiking.
- Difficulty Level: Choose a trail that is appropriate for your child’s hiking experience level. Look for trails with a moderate difficulty level, and avoid ones that are too challenging.
- Safety: Check the trail’s safety features, such as railings or barriers, and avoid trails with drop-offs or other potential hazards.
- Accessibility: Choose a trail that is easily accessible and has a nearby parking area. Consider the distance you will need to travel to get to the trailhead.
- Trail Features: Look for trails with interesting features that will keep your child engaged, such as waterfalls, streams, or lookout points.
Best trails for kids
- Spruce Knob Trail: This trail is a 1.5-mile loop that takes you to the highest point in West Virginia. The trail is rated as easy and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Blackwater Falls Trail: This trail is a 0.6-mile loop that takes you to the famous Blackwater Falls. The trail is rated as easy and offers views of the waterfall from several different vantage points.
- Seneca Creek Trail: This trail is a 3.5-mile out-and-back trail that takes you to Seneca Creek Falls. The trail is rated as moderate and features several smaller waterfalls and a suspension bridge.
- Big Bend Trail: This trail is a 2-mile out-and-back trail that follows the Greenbrier River. The trail is rated as easy and offers several spots for swimming and fishing.
- Cranberry Glades Boardwalk Trail: This trail is a 0.5-mile loop that takes you through a unique bog ecosystem. The trail is rated as easy and offers an opportunity to see rare plants and wildlife.
These trails give kids lots of opportunities for kids to explore and discover nature, including stunning views, waterfalls, rock formations, and wildlife.
In addition to hiking, the Monongahela National Forest offers many other activities for kids, such as fishing, camping, swimming, and wildlife watching.