We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Birthing or adopting a child does not doom you to a life of such thrilling “leisure-time activities” as reading mommy blogs and making chicken nuggets from scratch. Anything can be “kid-friendly” if you deem it to be so. Especially when it’s fall, it’s beautiful out, and adventure awaits you. So get outside and go see the world — and bring those small fries with you (the kids, not the chicken nuggets, although sure, bring both).
And you don’t have to make an epic family plan to scale the Himalayas, either, because some of the most gorgeous mountains — and woods, waterfalls, lakes, you name it — are right here in the States. (In fact, the general awesomeness of the U.S. State & National Parks and landscape may be one of the only things Americans agree upon these days, so let’s cling to it with all our might.)
We’ve done the travel planning for you and rounded up some of the best child-friendly hikes in the United States — from the obvious icons to the unexpected spots you’ve maybe never heard of. Because which do you think your kid will remember in 10 years: the rando toy you got her for her birthday or the time you two trekked up a mountain?
A version of this story was originally published in September 2017.