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3 Great U.S. Cities for Urban Hiking with Kids

by Eugenia Lazaris

Feb 20, 2024

Quarry Park © Cynthia Mccrary | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.


Winston-Salem, North Carolina
This city is an up-and-coming destination earning a spot on the family-friendly radar. This city has plenty of history to draw you in, but it just may be the 200-acre Quarry Park that makes it a favorite spot to enjoy Winston-Salem. The city skyline is visible in the distance of this park, built up around an old granite quarry. Today there is an overlook that gives you sweeping views of the water-filled quarry and the wooded area surrounding it, home to plenty of walkways and bike trails connecting the various areas of the park.


Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is a family-favorite for urban hikers thanks to its many parks and opportunities to walk along the river. Riverfront Park, which covers 33 acres and stretches along 11 blocks of the city, is home to many art installations, including those found at Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, which features a walking trail among a variety of interesting sculptures showcasing the city’s artistic heritage. There are five bridges crossing the river throughout this park, three of which are pedestrian friendly, giving you great views of the river along with sites like the rock outcropping along the shore of the river that gave the city its name.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle is home to Washington Park Arboretum, a beautifully landscaped area just outside of the city’s downtown area. While it isn’t far by car, the peaceful surroundings give the feeling that you are miles from a big city. There are miles of trails to explore, whether you want to get a brisk hike in by circling the arboretum or take your time strolling the many routes crisscrossing through the landscaped area that showcases numerous plant species, you can spend all day learning and enjoying this peaceful spot. There is no charge to visit the arboretum, and a visitor’s center provides helpful information about the plants you will see. You can even take part in one of the many programs or walking tours available.


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