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City Snowshoe Trails for Family Hikes

by Barbara Rogers

Jan 13, 2023

© Alexander Shalamov | Dreamstime.com


Family hiking doesn’t need to stop when snow falls. When snow is more than a few inches deep, strap on a pair of snowshoes and keep hiking. If your family already loves snowshoeing, you don’t need to travel to the far north to find trails.


Snowshoeing and winter hiking are good activities, even for younger children, as they don’t involve the equipment or learning curve required of skiing. Even toddlers can easily join in by riding on sleds.


Because you don’t need groomed trails for snowshoeing or winter hiking, city parks are great  (and free) resources; many of them also have trails for cross-country skiers. In Boston, you can snowshoe across the Fens and through the paths of the Victory Gardens. For longer trails through the piney woods, head for Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain.


When a fresh snowfall turns New York’s Central Park white, you’ll find plenty of trails crisscrossing this urban playground. When the snow reaches a depth of six inches, Bridal Path is a favorite for cross-country skiers, and the trails across the Sheep Meadow and Great Lawn make for good snowshoeing experiences.


If your family is up to a bit more challenge in snowshoe travels, try Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Along with flat trails around Prospect Lake, you’ll find paths along the ravine in the center. Philadelphia snowshoers can also get plenty of challenge at Wissahickon Valley Park, where trails traverse both sides of the gorge. The 7-mile route provides a good workout, but is not a good choice for younger children or for pulling toddlers in a sled.


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