Hikes with Kids

A family affair, naturally

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

If you loved hiking pre-kids, but now have a family and have put the skids on those outings, Susan Elderkin’s Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington will inspire you to get back on the trails—albeit with modified expectations.

Offering 125 hikes that will appeal to kids from toddlers to grade schoolers, Elderkin knows all about mid-hike tantrums and car rides peppered with whining. But she also knows how well-chosen excursions can connect and energize a family, inspire children with the beauty and wonder of nature, and instigate what will hopefully become a lifelong pastime.

Published by Mountaineers Books just in time for celebrating Earth Day by heading into nature, Elderkin has done the groundwork for the guidebook on a series of trails from Birch Bay to the Oregon border, Snoqualmie Pass and Leavenworth, to the Olympic National Forest.

Her preface is full of handy tips designed to make a hike more successful—from gear to snacks to setting expectations ahead of time. Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties are a bit underrepresented—with just a handful of hikes in Bellingham, Anacortes, and Mt. Baker—but there are plenty more to be found nearby in Seattle, Tacoma, Deception Pass, on Stevens Pass toward Leavenworth, and around Mt. Rainier.

Many hikes are represented in photographs from Elderkin’s trips with her family, and all contain a map of the actual route and directions to the site. Her descriptions of the destinations are well-written and catchy, offering glimpses of what you’ll see and how the site has changed. Of Woodard Bay Conservation Area, for example, she notes “There is a good chance you’ll see or hear something that flies, swims or slithers during your visit.”

In the front of her guide, Elderkin highlights best hikes in different categories—for swimming, waterfall sighting, history, wildlife and berry picking. Sections on plant safety, trail etiquette and nature-based toileting can be found, as can icons indicating routes highlighted for their stroller accessibility, dog friendliness or other features.

Each hike includes a how-to-get-there section with GPS coordinates, distance, level of difficulty, elevation and when to go. Information about the trail itself, what to look for and what makes it fun and unique are also included.

Page through this primer and you’ll want to pull your hiking boots on and get out on a trail. From Ape Cave on the Cascades’ west slope to the Ginkgo Petrified Forest, where trees are buried in basalt, there are a plethora of great ideas that will inspire wonder and make for fun, fascinating outdoor family adventures.

Elderkin is to be commended for assembling a handy guide to hiking with young kids, making this publication a useful resource for any Western Washington family eager to explore their great outdoors—on Earth Day or any day.

*Photo by Eugene Lee

More Outdoors...
Pilgrim Power
Where the sidewalk ends

To hear Beth Jusino tell it, if she can walk 1,000 miles, almost anybody can.

In fact, when she comes to Village Books on Wed., Oct. 17 to share tales from her travel tome, Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles of the Camino de Santiago, those in attendance can find out more…

more »
In search of autumn

I found myself looking October in the face with a profound sense that summer had been largely stolen from me.

Obligations and deadlines had kept my nose in close proximity to the grindstone for most of July. When I finally had some free time to disappear in the mountains in August, the…

more »
Paint B'ham Blue
Vikings for a day

The changing colors of leaves from forest-green to bright red or yellow is typically a harbinger that one season has come to a close and another has begun.

While that’s still true, another prominent hue seen in downtown Bellingham this past week is heralding a different kind of autumnal…

more »
Rainbow Reads

3:00pm|Ferndale Library

Cook It and Book It

3:30pm|Lynden Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

War Through the Eyes of Women Book Club

6:00pm|Bellingham Vet Center

Peru Novoandina

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Mind-Body-Food Connection

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

WAKE Meeting

6:30pm|Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Center

Beginning Square Dance Lessons

7:00pm|Ten Mile Grange

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Fancy Bingo

7:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Comedy Open Mic


Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Bellingham at Home Informational Meeting

1:00pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Endangered Species Curator's Tour

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Prosecutors race is a referendum on reform


Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Where the sidewalk ends


Walking to the End of the World

7:00pm|Village Books

Brian Dean Trio

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Climate Change and Forests

7:00pm|Sustainable Living Center

Modified documentary and Panel Discussion

7:30pm|Pickford Film Center

Trove Web Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Komo Kulshan Ski Swap

4:00pm|Bloedel Donovan

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Camber Exhcange

5:30pm|1820 Scout Place

Falling Out of the Box Jewelry Challenge

6:00pm|Jansen Art Center

Squash Celebration

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Chuckanut Radio Hour

6:30pm|Whatcom Community College

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Nooksack River Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Duck Variations

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Skriker

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Side Show

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web Siro