Take a hike! Expert advice to get your family involved in hiking

Outdoors Bound

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — It’s summer and you want to get the family outside. One good option is hiking, and southwest and central Virginia are great areas for it.

While there are many many outstanding places to hike in our region, if you’re doing it with children, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.

“First and foremost, you want to make sure it’s attainable, not too difficult or strenuous,” said Hayley Henson of the Outdoors Bound Team.

Hayley is an expert hiker and rock climber.

“You want it so that anyone in your family can be involved, whether they’re four years old or 90 years old,” Henson explained. “Also remember to bring a bunch of water.”

Henson says one issue is people get out on to a trail and get dehydrated, even on less difficult hikes. Having plenty of water on hand means you and your family will stay hydrated and enjoy the experience.

And when hiking with children, Henson adds that you have to be flexible: “Your hike could turn into a bird watching event, a bug collecting event; you could check out some cool plants, whatever it is to keep your hikers happy.”

Some of the best places to take family-oriented hikes in our region are Carvins Cove Natural Reserve in Botetourt County, Smith Mountain State Park in Bedford County, Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, the Roanoke River Greenway in Roanoke and Salem, the Cascade Falls Trailhead in Pembroke, or New River Trail State Park in Wythe County.

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