three Fantastic mountain climbing venues in Virginia for households with children

Whether or not you’re new to mountain climbing together with your child or toddler, otherwise you’re on the lookout for a brand new path to discover, the Hike it Child group is a useful useful resource for locating household mountain climbing trails across the nation. On this article, we share three kid-friendly hikes in Virginia to discover with infants and younger youngsters.

Virginia is a state wealthy with historical past and pure magnificence, and there are hikes that exploit each of those whereas nonetheless being manageable for teenagers. Need to see for your self? Hike it Child members suggest the next three great venues in Virginia for households with children.

Cannonball Path (Norfolk, VA)

The phrases “cannonball” and “path,” when put collectively, could conjure up photographs of violence on the one hand and roughing it on the opposite. Nevertheless, Cannonball Path is as civilized a path as you’ll ever have the pleasure of strolling. It kinds a tough loop, with some diversions, in downtown Norfolk and is marked by spherical medallions in granite slabs set within the floor. The city hiker can begin anyplace, however how about beginning at historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church? Discover the British cannonball nonetheless embedded in one of many partitions and also you’ll perceive how the path obtained its title. Different factors of curiosity are navy monuments, stately properties and even The Pagoda, a stupendous reward from Taiwan to the Metropolis of Norfolk and Commonwealth of Virginia. Permit roughly two hours to see the sights.

Cannonball Path has develop into an establishment (weekly for 2 years and counting!) amongst native Hike it Child members … with some modification. The group begins at Remedy Coffeehouse, a neighborhood establishment in its personal proper, and continues alongside the waterfront in downtown Norfolk. This makes for some good adult-pace strolling, plus playtime for the children at City Level Park, so it’s a great stability for everybody. There’s even a splash pad within the summertime!


The Reception Heart on Freemason Road can present maps and different info. Then you’ll be able to go round to close by St. Paul’s to search for the path’s namesake.
When you don’t begin at Remedy Coffeehouse (and even if you happen to do!), then chances are you’ll wish to finish at Cafe Stella, one other widespread place to calm down whereas within the space.
In case you have time, contemplate taking a tour of the Battleship Wisconsin. Certainly one of 4 Iowa-class battleships constructed through the Second World Battle, it’s now a museum ship moored in Norfolk Harbor.

Photograph courtesy of visitnorfolk.com.

The Saunders-Monticello Path (Charlottesville, VA)

The title Monticello is immediately acquainted to college students of early American historical past. This was the house designed alongside neoclassical strains by Thomas Jefferson, main author of the Declaration of Independence and Founding Father. The Saunders-Monticello Path is a 2-mile path main from the car parking zone of Kemper Park and up Carter Mountain to the Customer Heart for this iconic mansion. It’s a hard-packed, well-cared-for grime path, interspersed with bridges and boardwalks. It winds by means of an arboretum of native timber and shrubs, and contains overlooks and a 2-acre pond. The grade up this “little mountain” (Monticello in Italian) is a straightforward one – no drawback in any respect for little walkers and households with strollers.

The stroll itself is rewarding sufficient, however alternatives to see the house of one in every of America’s Founding Fathers don’t come up typically. It’s the proper likelihood to introduce youngsters to some essential historical past. Within the Customer Heart, there’s a small (and free) exhibit for kids. For adults who want a relaxation, there’s a small (not free) cafe. Exploring Monticello will take rather more time than strolling the path, no less than three hours if finished correctly, so plan accordingly. Separate visits could also be known as for.


Word that though canines are allowed on leashes, sadly, they aren’t allowed on boardwalk parts of the Saunders-Monticello Path.
There are a selection of different trails within the Monticello path system. Problem ranges fluctuate, however there are many straightforward trails for households with little ones.

Photograph courtesy of monticello.org.

Blackrock Summit Hike (Grottoes, VA)

Positioned in Shenandoah Nationwide Park, the hike to Blackrock Summit is a straightforward 1-mile loop with an awesome pure play space on the prime, making for an ideal household day on the mountain. From the parking space, you’ll really stroll the Appalachian Path south. It’s a mild uphill climb, till the path winds round an enormous talus slope of big rocks. To return, take the left fork on the path marker for Blackrock Spur Path, which curves across the rocky slope. Then observe Blackrock Hut Highway again right down to the parking space.

Unbiased walkers who’re a bit of older are positive to do that total path on their very own. Toddlers can undoubtedly stroll, and there are many rocks to climb on too. The rocks are simpler for small legs to do on their very own from simply previous the intersection with Blackrock Spur Path. Shut supervision across the rocks remains to be a good suggestion, as is a service for very small ones.


Don’t anticipate a lot in the way in which of facilities. There aren’t any bogs and no consuming water. There aren’t any benches, both, however the rocks are snug sufficient for sitting, snacking, resting or nursing.
The closest bogs are at Loft Mountain Wayside, 5 miles away on Skyline Drive. The cafeteria there sells sizzling meals and ice cream as nicely.
Cellular phone reception could be very restricted.
Defend your self towards tick-borne illnesses with repellent particularly for these parasites.
Defend your self towards bears by making noise. The noise of youngsters is mostly sufficient to scare them off, however understand that they could possibly be within the space.
For these keen on longer hikes, there are extra trails on this community, some resulting in swimming holes and waterfalls!

This can be a fairly simple path that results in an exceptional rock scramble with wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This can be a excellent path so as to add to a tenting journey as a result of it’s so brief, however the payoff from the views makes it value it to drive to for the day as nicely. There are numerous attractive locations on Skyline Drive the place you’ll be able to pull off and look over the valley and on to the assorted mountain peaks. This path will get you very vast panoramic views with out the sound of automobiles passing behind you, and with the sensation of accomplishment that comes from mountain climbing to the views. The rocks are additionally actually enjoyable to climb, for adults and children alike! – Stephanie Jacobson

3 Wonderful Hiking Venues in Virginia for Families With Kids by Frank Tucker for Hike it Baby

Path evaluation and photograph contributed by Stephanie Jacobson.

What are your favourite hikes in Virginia for households with infants, toddlers and younger youngsters? Go away a remark under!


Virginia provides an abundance of trails for households with younger youngsters. For extra household hike concepts, see:

When you’re touring by means of Virginia and want extra info or suggestions on trails or wish to be part of a bunch hike, the closest Hike it Child branches are Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads, Harrisonburg, Prince Frederick, Richmond, Roanoke and Winchester.


Cannonball Path evaluation contributed by Melissa Freeman with assist from Errign Siek. The Saunders-Monticello Path evaluation contributed by Jennifer Iyengar. Blackrock Summit evaluation and photograph contributed by Stephanie Jacobsen.

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