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
- Hood Park https://www.recreation.gov/camping/hood-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73210
- Horse Heaven Hills/Vista https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/horse-heaven-hills
Urban “hiking” (not all inclusive, just a few for example)
- Eastgate Park
- 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
- Snake Safety: hiketricities, WTA
Check weather, not just temperature, know wind, precipitation, cloud cover, daylight hours
WIND: Laurie’s personal scale of wind speeds for hiking with kids:
- 0-10 mph-comfortable
- 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)