5 Great North Country Hikes for Kids

Photo: Courtesy of Dan Mathers

A memorable hike requires certain ingredients. First, you need a vast, remote wilderness, the kind that gives you a sense of adventure and lets you feel connected to nature. You should have beautiful scenery, with places to rest and reward your efforts with views that take your breath away. It helps to have rippling streams and rivers, or peaceful lakes with waters that mirror the surrounding forests. And, of course, you want an area teeming with wildlife , where you can experience the excitement of seeing a creature in the wild.

The North Country has all of those ingredients, plus a vast collection of hiking trails that are as abundant as the region’s famed moose.

Hiking is a wonderful activity and a great way to explore a region like the North Country. But if you’re hiking with young children,  certainly extra challenges. You want your kids to think of hiking as being fun, not to think of it as work. So you need a hike that will be interesting, rewarding, and have just the right length and terrain.

Luckily, the North Country is home to a seemingly endless amount of kid-friendly trails.

Here are five of the best.

Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail – This short hike to the source of the Connecticut River crisscrosses the international boundary with Canada. At just over half a mile long, the trail is the ideal length for young kids, who will enjoy the hike’s gorgeous scenery and the thrill of technically standing in another country.

Table Rock Trail – Dixville Notch has several incredibly scenic hikes. The most popular is the Table Rock Trail. This short loop brings you to Table Rock, where you will enjoy stunning views from the ledge rising several hundred feet over a cliff. The eastern section of the trail up to Table Rock is steep, while the western section offers the easiest approach.

Brousseau Mountain Trail – This hike in Averill, Vermont takes hikers along a well-marked trail through a scenic forest. The climb to the top of Brousseau Mountain (2,714 feet) is steady and takes roughly 30 minutes. The summit is covered by trees, but a short side trail takes hikers to a lookout where they can enjoy stunning views of the White and Green Mountain ranges in the distance, nesting peregrine falcons, and a seemingly undisturbed wilderness below. In the fall, it’s a travel corridor for fall migration for a multitude of raptors including eagles, hawks, and falcons.

Falls in the River Trail – This trail beginning at Second Connecticut Lake offers an easy walk along the Connecticut River to a rocky, scenic cascade and gorge. Along the way you’ll cross wooden walkways through swampy areas and enjoy beautiful meadows along the river.

Moose Alley Trail – Few hiking experiences can compare with the excitement of seeing a towering moose up close in the wild. Seeing a moose is something that your kids will be telling their friends about and that they will remember for years. While you can spot a moose in many places in the North Country, one of the most reliable spots is the area surrounding the Moose Alley Trail in Pittsburg. This easy, mostly level trail cuts through scenic forest where you can often spot moose and deer.

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