It’s especially a huge relief being more than seven months pregnant! I’ve had enough humidity and scorching sun. Now is the perfect time to get out with your kids and enjoy the outdoors without having to drag along ten gallons of water just to keep hydrated. There are some great spots north of Boston that are perfect for hikes with kids of all ages, and these are some of my personal favorites.
- Mount Monadnock(Jaffrey, NH): A wonderful day trip with older children and teenagers, this isn’t the easiest hike. It can get very steep and strenuous at times, not recommended for toddlers – but possible with an infant in a carrier. Breathtaking 360 degree views at the top where you may even see Boston on a clear day. It’s not the shortest drive, but definitely worth it. Fees are $4 per adult, $2 for children 6-11, free for children 5 and under and NH resident over 65 years of age.
- Maudslay State Park(Newburyport, MA): Great with kids, nothing too steep. Beware though, we got lost here the first time even with the map. Infant and toddlers in carriers will do great here, most of the terrain is great for toddlers to walk on their own. Not stroller friendly (we almost ruined an ‘all-terrain’ stroller here once). Views of the Merrimack River, historic mansion ruins, formal garden and stone bridges. Most of the hike is a wooded area. State park parking fee of $2.
- Ward Reservation(Andover/North Andover, MA): A short hike suitable even with small children, it rewards you with expansive views of Boston at the top of Holt Hill – the highest point in Essex county. Plenty of free parking.
- Bradley Palmer State Park(Topsfield, MA): Plenty of hiking trails through the woods as well as a straight, paved road through the park that’s stroller friendly. Great for both hiking and mountain biking. Kids of all ages will enjoy this park. A great place for pic nics. Free parking available.
- Harold Parker State Forest(Andover/N. Andover): With over 35 miles of logging roads and trails, there is a hike for everyone, nothing strenuous – mostly rolling hills. Read up on the fascinating history of the area and its connection to the Underground Railroad. Free parking.
Since I’m practically carrying two watermelons around with me, you’re unlikely to meet me on these trails anytime soon. I’m sticking to shorter walks around my neighborhood and local parks (not to mention my stairs seem monstrous to me right now). Please enjoy these on our behalf and let us know how it goes!