Top 10 Multi-Use Trails for Kids

Here you’ll find a list of great biking and walking trails for children, just right for those little legs and big imaginations. Dotted with fun attractions to catch their attention, these family-friendly adventures will give youngsters a well-earned good night’s sleep and build a lifetime love of the outdoors.


1

Clipper City Rail Trail & Harborwalk

Massachusetts


Photo by: George Vining

Children will feel like they’ve walked into the pages of a storybook along the Clipper City Rail Trail in the coastal city of Newburyport as it’s dotted with whimsical sculptures, colorful artwork, and views of boats on the busy harbor. Plus, at just over a mile and fully paved, it is easily doable for even the youngest children with shops and restaurants nearby for a quick snack (or bathroom) break.



2

Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path

Louisiana


Photo by: felix.sherman

Rolling along the majestic Mississippi River for nearly 5 miles, the Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path offers an easy, paved adventure on the western edge of downtown. Its southern end is anchored by the Farr Park Equestrian Center, where guided horse rides are available on the weekends. On its northern end, you’ll find a cluster of fun attractions, including the USS Kidd Naval Museum and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (catch a show at the planetarium!). Kids will also oooh and ahhh at the castle-like Old State Capitol building that you’ll pass along the way.



3

Oso Creek Trail

California


Photo: Courtesy City of Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo’s paved Oso Creek Trail offers a plethora of treasures for children, including a butterfly garden, hedge maze, peace obelisk, and colorful artwork. A community park at one end also offers a sprawling playground and picnic tables, and the route itself is a beauty with 4 miles of leafy trees and creek views.



4

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

Michigan


Photo by: Keith Laughlin

Although its length (24 miles) may seem daunting, you can zero in on the eastern end of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which traverses the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where kids will be wowed by views of towering dunes, forests, bluffs, and inland lakes. Parents can also toss in a little educational fun with a visit to the Glen Haven Historic District and let the kids can explore a refurbished general store, blacksmith shop, and cannery to experience what life was like here in the 1920s. And beachesa perennial favorite of children everywhereare located nearby by along the Lake Michigan shoreline. 



5

Seminole Wekiva Trail

Florida


Photo by: Jonathan Rayer

On the north end of Orlando, the Seminole Wekiva Trail provides a quiet, well-shaded route where the chances of spotting some Florida wildlife are good. A unique attraction of the trail that the kids will also enjoy is its colorful painted murals of scenes from popular movies. With its flat, paved route, often skirting areas with shops and restaurants, the 14-mile trail makes for a pleasant family outing.



6

Astoria Riverwalk

Oregon


Photo by: Karl Wirsing

This waterfront trail offers many charms for kiddos. They’ll love being right alongside the sparkling waters of the Columbia River, watching the barking sea lions on the docks, taking a ride on the adjacent vintage trolley train, and visiting the trailside maritime museum with a 3D movie theater. The paved Astoria Riverwalk is just over 6 miles long, but with easy jumping off points for shorter walks or rides.



7

Shelby Farms Greenline

Tennessee


Photo: Courtesy Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

Beginning in Midtown Memphis, the Shelby Farms Greenline unfurls largely under a canopy of large oaks and other shade trees, and is dotted with wooden trestles over scenic wetland and riparian areas. On its east end, the 10-mile paved trail is anchored by Shelby Farms Park, which offers just about every type of outdoor activity imaginable: horseback riding, ziplining, disc golf, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, nature trails, the fantastical Woodland Discovery Playground—even a herd of buffalo!



8

East Bay Bike Path

Rhode Island


Photo by: alicezakhar

With seabirds flying overhead and views of ships and sailboats cruising in the water, the East Bay Bike Path will give kids a quintessential New England experience that they’re never forget. Two short detours off the trail add to the fun. A side trip to see the whimsical creatures of the Looff Carousel (hand-carved in 1895) will win smiles, as will the excursion to the Audubon Environmental Center, a natural history museum and aquarium where the kids will enjoy interactive exhibits and nature walks through marshes full of wildlife.



9

Minnehaha Trail

Minnesota


Photo by: caferacer42

You get two parks in one with this easy, 5-mile paved and wooded trail in the heart of Minneapolis. At the southern end of the Minnehaha Trail is Fort Snelling State Park, dating back to the early 1800s, where costumed interpreters and hands-on demonstrations make learning history fun. There are also lots of other outdoor opportunities here, like canoeing, swimming, fishing, and hiking if the kids are itching to get off their bikes and into the woods or onto the beach. At the northern end of the trail is the jaw-dropping Minnehaha Falls, a wave of crystalline droplets rushing 50 feet over a cliff. The surrounding Minnehaha Park is itself an attraction with limestone bluffs, river overlooks, and shady spots for picnicking.



10

Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail

South Carolina


Photo: Courtesy Greenville County Parks

The Swamp Rabbit Trail, a paved 19.5-mile pathway, winds through the vibrant heart of Greenville and on up to the friendly town of Travelers Rest. Along the way, you’ll visit some of the area’s most picturesque parks—the waterfalls at Falls Park and its stunning suspension bridge should not be missed—as well as the Furman University campus, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Lined with big, shady trees and following the Reedy River for much of its journey, it’s a ride through nature with restaurants, shops, and attractions (like the Greenville Zoo!) very close at hand.


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