Haddonfield resident Alex Nuckols, 10, has written an article on hikes — or in this case scrambles — that he recommends for families that are two hours or less away.
Have you ever taken your kids on a hike and heard, “Is it over yet?” or “I’m bored?” Here are five close hikes, or scrambles, that kids won’t get bored with and will enjoy.
What are hikes compared to scrambles? Hikes are light walking uphill or downhill through the woods on foot, while scrambles include climbing up and down walks using hands and feet.
Hike 1: Hawk Falls
The easiest of the five, Hawk Falls is located at Hickory Run State Park in Kidder Township, Pa. The scramble is about one mile, 15 to 30 minutes long, and considered easy to intermediate.
It’s a great scramble for kids who’ve never scrambled before. The woods are beautiful. There’s one climb around the waterfall on rocks, but it’s not too hard. Still, stay close to your kids and far from the edge. Be sure not to miss the swimming hole, if your kids like water.
Hike 2: The Pinnacle and the Pulpit
The Pinnacle and the Pulpit is located at the Blue Rocks Family Campground in Lenhartsville, Pa. You can park there for $3 and the campground will give you an easy-to-follow map. The hike is about six miles long, will take about four to five hours and is intermediate to hard.
This scramble is a great one. It definitely takes more endurance than Hawk Falls, but the climbs are not much harder. It’s an amazing climb going up, but I was a little disappointed going back down. The amazing views are said to be the best in Pennsylvania.
Hike 3: Hawk Mountain
In the middle in regard to difficulty is Hawk Mountain. It is located by searching Hawk Mountain in Albany Township, Pa. in Google Maps. Be sure to get a trail map and do a loop that includes the Skyline Trail. This hike is about three miles and two hours long.
This trail has a boring part that is like a normal hike, but for the most part this scramble is fun, scary and hard. Going down the steep climbs might seem impossible, but it is easier than it looks. While you’re there look for hawks at the overlooks.
Hike 4: Mt. Minsi
To get to Mt. Minsi, enter “Wolf Hollow at the Water Gap” in Delaware Water Gap, Pa. into Google Maps. At the corner of Lake Road and Mountain Road, head down Lake Road and you will find the parking area for the Appalachian Trail, which will take you to Mount Minsi. Once you reach the top, come back down the way you came.
This trail is five miles, four to five hours long and rated hard to advanced.
On this one you should be prepared for extremely tired kids. There’s one long hard climb through a rhododendron forest that is great for long family conversations. Make sure to bring a lot of extra water and stop at Eureka Springs to cool your sore feet.
Hike 5: Glen Onoko Falls
To find Glen Onoko Falls put “D&L Trail, Jim Thorpe, Pa.” into Google Maps. Follow signs for the Falls Trail.
This trail is 3.5 miles and three to four hours long and considered the hardest of the five.
Kids who go on this hike should not have any major struggles going up steep hills of rocks. Watch for overlooks, help each other and stay close. It’s an amazing scramble with breathtaking views.
Get ready for wet, dirty shoes and tired kids saying, “That was fun. When’s our next scramble?”