Best Resource: http://hiketricities.com/ This website lists over 40 local hikes. He has a page for each hike with directions, a map, a description and pictures. Also look at the articles on hiking etiquette and rattlesnake safety.
I have taken (or been with) cub scouts on these hikes listed on his website: Candy Mountain, Badger Mountain (Badger canyon trail), Chamna Natural Preserve, Columbia Pointe, Audubon Trail-columbia Park, Devils Canyon
I have taken my kids on these trails also suitable for cub scouts: McNary Wildlife Refuge, Zintel Canyon, Yakima River Delta, Bateman Island, Horn Rapids County Park, Tri-Cities Riverfront Trail, Ammon Creek, Park at the lakes
A few Hikes NOT on the website:
Two Rivers Park, goes between the parking area just past the main entrance and the boat dock further down the road.
Sacajawea State Park http://parks.state.wa.us/575/Sacajawea
Horse Heaven Hills/Vista https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/horse-heaven-hills
Urban “hiking” (not all inclusive, just a few for example)
Lawrence Scott Park
Kennewick Arboretum (by fair grounds and eastgate park)
Grange Park/WSU Master Gardener Demonstration Garden (behind Library on Union)
REACH museum nature trail
Urban Greenbelt Trail (Richland)
Online Resources for choosing hikes
www.hikingproject.com (has app)
www.alltrails.com (has app)
http://www.cbwnps.org/home Washington Native Plant Society, Columbia Basin Chapter, offers “Wildflower walks” in conjunction with other organizations such as Friend of Badger.
https://www.fws.gov/refuge/McNary/ McNary Wildlife Refuge
https://www.wta.org/go-outside/trail-smarts Hiking etiquette, right of way, safety tips
http://hiketricities.com/hiking-basics/ Hiking etiquette, safety tips etc
Check weather, not just temperature, know wind, precipitation, cloud cover, daylight hours
WIND: Laurie’s personal scale of wind speeds for hiking with kids:
10-15 mph-can be comfortable IF you are prepared and have a good attitude
15-20 mph-doable but not fun
20+mph- miserable to dangerous
Note: the colder it is, the more wind will affect comfort.
Note: The wind will likely be much stronger/faster at the top of hill (such as badger mtn/ candy mtn) than at the bottom. The forecast is probably what you will experience at the bottom of the hill. Plan for twice the wind at the top.
Daylight hours: Check sunrise and sunset times. In the spring, after daylight saving time switch there is enough light in the evenings
When doing a pack hike plan for different distances so scouts can choose to turn back sooner or take a shorter route. (Have adequate leadership on each route) Webelos & Bears can usually do the three miles, Wolves & Tigers can usually do up to 1.5 miles
Requirements: Webelos-3 miles, Bear/Wolf-1 mile, Tiger- “short hike”
Knowing how fast you will be hiking is helpful for planning distance and time.
I like to plan 3 mph for webelos and adults, 1.5mph (ish) for younger kids
Hills may take longer than a flat hike
Visit the Help Page if you are unfamiliar with geocaching.
Review etiquette with scouts before geocaching. There’s a great video on the help page.
Go in small groups!
Hiking for Cub scouts correlation between ranks for before and during hikes
Hiking with Kids!
Bring motivation (treats/snacks) With younger kids I like to carry small candies and hand them one periodically. (“When we get to ____, you get a treat!”) Older kids can carry and ration their own.
Distractions can be helpful for some kids ie: magnifying glass to look at insects, plants etc., binoculars, gps device, printed map, scavenger hunt, camera, scat/track/plant/animal identification chart. . .
With younger kids, plan to go SLOW. (1-2 mph) You are not going for speed or distance with the little ones. You want them to enjoy nature.
Make sure they have good shoes
Point out wild life or interesting plants, rocks, etc.
Help them stay hydrated.
Stop by the restroom before you go!! (I forgot this last week and one of my kids suffered. . . )
Stroller Friendly Trails: (also see “urban hiking” section above)
This is not all inclusive, just the ones that immediately come to mind. I listed a few trails that are not paved, but wide enough to accommodate a rugged stroller. (I recommend using one with large wheels)
Horn Rapids County Park – Benton City, (some paved, mostly gravel/dirt trails)
McNary Wildlife Refuge – Burbank, (part paved, mostly gravel trails)
Park at the Lakes – West Richland, (paved)
Richland Riverfront Trail – Richland,( paved)
Tri-Cities Riverfront Trail – Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, (paved)
Zintel Canyon – Kennewick (take the paved, wider trail on the north west)
Columbia Point – Richland (paved along the riverfront trail, wide gravel trails closer to the water)
Amon Creek – Richland (if you take the upper trail, not paved)
Urban Greenbelt Trail – Richland (paved)
Bypass Shelter Belt – Richland (paved)