The Best Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Every Southern State



Slide 1 of 16: Hiking with kids can be a real gamble. You may envision a walk filled with curiosity and views only to find yourself trudging uphill with endless groans from the little ones. Though you can’t always control the elements, you can set yourself up for an enjoyable day of discovery with a little prep work. Simple things, like preparing the right snack and making sure you’ve got suitable gear, can go a long way. But most importantly, picking the right path will help make sure your family makes the right kind of memories on your journey. When you’re taking the whole family into the wilderness, distance and difficulty can be the difference between adventure and disaster. Consider the age and experience level of your kids. You don’t want to take on anything too aggressive if you’ve got little ones or novice hikers in tow. Take mileage and elevation into account as well as what kind of wonders you’ll encounter along the way. Having a waterfall, creek, or vista point to look forward to can motivate the whole family to keep moving, young and old. To uncover some of the most enjoyable family-friend hikes in the South, we looked to AllTrails, a crowdsourced trail review app that makes finding the right trail near you a breeze. Here are their top kid-friendly hikes under 4 miles in every Southern state.
Slide 2 of 16: William B Bakhead National Forest, Houston, AL  Distance: 3.5 Miles AllTrails Rating: Easy Type: Out and back Pets: Dogs allowed on leash   Expect to See: Forrest life and a waterfall Learn more
Slide 3 of 16: Ozark National Forest, Pettigrew, AR  Distance: 2.9 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Out and back Pets: Dogs allowed on leash   Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall Learn more
Slide 4 of 16: Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA  Distance: 2 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed on leach Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall Learn more

Slide 5 of 16: Econ River Wilderness Area, Oviedo, FL  Distance: 2.6 miles AllTrails Rating: Easy Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: River Learn more
Slide 6 of 16: Clifty Wilderness, Pine Ridge, KY  Distance: 1.4 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed Expect to See: Natural rock arch, creek, and waterfall Learn more
Slide 7 of 16: Kisatchie National Forest, Gorum, LA  Distance: 1.4 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: Forest life and river Learn more
Slide 8 of 16: Patapsco Valley State Park, Elkridge, MD  Distance: 3 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall Learn more
Slide 9 of 16: Tishomingo State Park, Dennis, MS  Distance: 3.6 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: Forest life, rock formations, and stream Learn more

Slide 10 of 16: Pisgah National Forest, Old Fort, NC  Distance: 2.1 miles AllTrails Rating: Easy Type: Out and back Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall Learn more
Slide 11 of 16: Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, Tulsa, OK  Distance: 3.7 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Loop Pets: Dogs allowed Expect to See: River Learn more
Slide 12 of 16: Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park, Walhalla, SC  Distance: 3 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Out and back Pets: Dogs allowed Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall Learn more
Slide 13 of 16: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, TN  Distance: 2.4 miles AllTrails Rating: Easy Type: Out and back Pets: Not allowed Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall Learn more
Slide 14 of 16: Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, TX  Distance: 1.5 miles AllTrails Rating: Easy Type: Out and back   Pets: Not allowed Expect to See: Cliffs, river, and creek Learn more

Slide 15 of 16: Shenandoah National Park, Stanley, VA  Distance: 1.4 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Out and back Pets: Not allowed Expect to See: Forest and waterfall Learn more
Slide 16 of 16: Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, Seneca Rocks, WV  Distance: 3.2 miles AllTrails Rating: Moderate Type: Out and back Pets: Dogs allowed on leash Expect to See: Rock formations Learn more

Red River Gorge Rock Bridge Trail

Hiking with kids can be a real gamble. You may envision a walk filled with curiosity and views only to find yourself trudging uphill with endless groans from the little ones. Though you can’t always control the elements, you can set yourself up for an enjoyable day of discovery with a little prep work. Simple things, like preparing the right snack and making sure you’ve got suitable gear, can go a long way. But most importantly, picking the right path will help make sure your family makes the right kind of memories on your journey.

When you’re taking the whole family into the wilderness, distance and difficulty can be the difference between adventure and disaster. Consider the age and experience level of your kids. You don’t want to take on anything too aggressive if you’ve got little ones or novice hikers in tow. Take mileage and elevation into account as well as what kind of wonders you’ll encounter along the way. Having a waterfall, creek, or vista point to look forward to can motivate the whole family to keep moving, young and old.

To uncover some of the most enjoyable family-friend hikes in the South, we looked to AllTrails, a crowdsourced trail review app that makes finding the right trail near you a breeze. Here are their top kid-friendly hikes under 4 miles in every Southern state.

Alabama: Sougahoagdee Falls

William B Bakhead National Forest, Houston, AL

  • Distance: 3.5 Miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash  
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and a waterfall
  • Learn more

Arkansas: Whitaker Point Trail

Ozark National Forest, Pettigrew, AR

  • Distance: 2.9 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash  
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Georgia: Amicalola Falls via East Ridge Loop Trail

Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leach
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Florida: Econ River Wilderness Area Loop

Econ River Wilderness Area, Oviedo, FL

  • Distance: 2.6 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: River
  • Learn more

Kentucky: Red River Gorge Rock Bridge Trail

Clifty Wilderness, Pine Ridge, KY

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: Natural rock arch, creek, and waterfall
  • Learn more

Louisiana: Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail

Kisatchie National Forest, Gorum, LA

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and river
  • Learn more

Maryland: Cascade Falls Loop Trail

Patapsco Valley State Park, Elkridge, MD

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Mississippi: CCC Camp Trail

Tishomingo State Park, Dennis, MS

  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life, rock formations, and stream
  • Learn more

North Carolina: Catawba Falls Trail

Pisgah National Forest, Old Fort, NC

  • Distance: 2.1 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Oklahoma: Turkey Mountain Yellow Trail

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, Tulsa, OK

  • Distance: 3.7 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: River
  • Learn more

South Carolina: Yellow Branch Falls

Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park, Walhalla, SC

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Tennessee: Laurel Falls Trail

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, TN

  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more

Texas: Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, TX

  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back  
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Cliffs, river, and creek
  • Learn more

Virginia: Dark Hollow Falls Trail

Shenandoah National Park, Stanley, VA

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest and waterfall
  • Learn more

West Virginia: Seneca Rocks Trail

Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, Seneca Rocks, WV

  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Rock formations
  • Learn more

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