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Easy Mountains in the Northeast to Climb with Kids

by Barbara Rogers

Jun 30, 2023

Haystack Mountain © Steve Callahan | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

No outdoor adventure is more thrilling for young kids than reaching the summit of their first mountain. Happily for short legs, mountains come in all sizes, so look for these easy climbs during your family’s travels in the Northeast.


South Bubble, Maine

The Bubble Mountains in Acadia National Park offer one of Maine’s most kid-friendly climbs. The hike is a 2-mile easy grade with a large rock perched at the top, where it was dropped by glaciers long ago.


Bradbury Mountain, Maine

Near Freeport, Bradbury Mountain is an easy climb through state park forests to a panoramic view of mountains and sea.


Owl’s Head, Vermont

Overlooking a forest-ringed pond in Groton State Forest, Owl’s Head is a 10-minute climb on stone steps or a longer trail climb from the base. The bald top is marked by stripes of different colors, demonstrating how molten lava was forced into fissures in older granite formations.


Mt Olga, Vermont

Begin in Molly Stark State Park, in the southern Green Mountains, for the 2-mile loop trail up Mount Olga. From the fire tower at the summit, you can see Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.


Pitcher Mountain, New Hampshire

The mile-long round trip to the top of Pitcher Mountain in Stoddard also leads to views of Mount Monadnock, but more exciting to kids are the masses of wild blueberries that grow here in mid-summer, free for the picking.


Mount Kearsarge, New Hampshire

It may seem like cheating to drive partway up the road from Warner, but the half-mile hike from the parking area in Rollins State Park is a good introduction to the thrills of standing atop a 3,000-foot peak. The fire tower is also a bonus.


Wachusett Mountain, Massachusetts

Close to Boston, Wachusett Mountain’s summit is a moderately strenuous climb, but an easy climb in Wachusett Mountain State Reservation has a special reward at the end. The Balance Rock Trail leads to a pair of giant boulders, one balanced on top of the other.


Haystack Mountain, Connecticut
A 2-mile loop trail takes you to the stone Haystack Tower in Norfolk, a kid-pleasing pile that looks as though it should be part of a medieval castle. Views reach as far south as Long Island Sound on a clear day.


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