"Hike with Kids will encourage countless families and children to explore the great outdoors.” —Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods
“HIKE With Kids: The Essential How-to Guide for Parents, Grandparents, & Youth Leaders Now Available!

“It’s a gift from one generation to another to take kids on a hike,” says John McKinney author of 30 hiking-themed books whose weekly hiking column ran for 18 years in the Los Angeles Times. “As a parent myself, I wrote HIKE With Kids to inspire adults to take kids hiking and to provide the practicalities to do so.”


(For hikers in many parts of the country, it’s not advisable to take a hike right now while the country is battling the Covid-19 pandemic, McKinney cautions. In some regions, it might be okay to hike, provided social distancing practices are observed and the trail is wide and lightly traveled.)


Whether you’re indoors a lot or not, it’s a good time to learn about nature, nurture, and the fun you and your kids will have on a hike


Recent studies have shown that more American children are replacing outdoor activities with those done indoors and, as a consequence, are suffering from what author-advocate Richard Louv calls “Nature Deficit Disorder.” But according to McKinney there is an antidote. Taking a hike in nature improves the health of children, increases their ability to concentrate and boosts their self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and leadership skills.


From selecting gear to safety tips to favorite trail snacks, John reveals the best ways to share the joys of nature—and the fun of hiking with kids.
• Discover which of the Ten Essentials are truly essential and the Six Secrets to Hiking with kids.
• Gear-up with the right stuff, learn what to pack, and how to pick a hike kids will like.
• Get tips for hiking with kids of all ages: babies and toddlers, tweens and teens.
And be sure to check out “The Trailmaster’s Ten-Point Plan for Getting Kids Back on the Nature Trail.”


“Beyond the substantial physical and emotional benefits found through hiking, kids who hike learn an appreciation for nature that lasts a lifetime,” say McKinney. “They’re the ones who will stand up and protect our natural environments in the future. Hiking is an investment in them and in our future.”