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4 Fall Hikes with Young Children in New England

by Barbara Rogers

Sep 21, 2022

Flume Gorge © Sphraner | Dreamstime.com


There’s nothing like a beautiful, crisp autumn day to inspire getting outdoors, and New England is filled with kid-friendly trails through the colorful forests to natural wonders and even mountaintops. If your family travel plans involve the New England states, try one of these hikes.


New Hampshire

The Flume Gorge is a popular natural attraction in Franconia Notch, a deep cleft in the rock with 80-foot vertical walls and a stream tumbling through it. The trail to the gorge leads through woodlands strewn with huge boulders left by the glaciers, some forming caves kids can enter. After walking through the gorge, take the longer loop trail back to the entrance, crossing through a covered bridge above a waterfall.



While cool autumn days may not be ideal for Cape Cod’s beaches, you’ll find plenty of easy walking trails all over the Cape. Kids love the spooky boardwalk trail winding among the exposed roots of the giant cedar trees in the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp in Wellfleet. Between the unusually shaped trees are dark mossy pools, giving the whole forest a mysterious atmosphere.



For an easy walk with lots of interesting features, follow Railroad Trail through the grounds of Gillette Castle in East Haddam. The trail follows the route of the former owner’s miniature railroad (you can see the engine at the castle). Stone bridges and a tunnel are among the attractions along the way.


Rhode Island

Kids will be happy with any of the several trails in Lincoln Woods State Park near Providence, but the 3-mile loop of the Lincoln Woods Trail is a sure winner. Enjoy the views of brilliant fall foliage from the ledges overlooking the pond while kids climb on the big glacial boulders strewn through the forest.


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