Family Friendly Hikes In The Capital Region

by Sandra Foyt on September 18, 2010

in Outdoors with Kids

hollyhock_sanctuary Fall is a splendid time to introduce children to nature, but it can be scary to take kids on their first outing on your own. Luckily, there are several moms clubs that organize family-friendly hikes in the Capital Region.

On a crisp autumn day, we joined a Homeschool Hiking Group on its inaugural hike to Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary in Feura Bush. I’d never been there before, so it was a delight to explore this site with new friends. The hike itself was short and easy, making it an ideal place to introduce children to hiking. A short trail brought us to the banks of a dry creek bed where the adults chatted while the kids explored and played. Even my too-cool-for-his-own-good tween enjoyed climbing rocks and pretending to be a pirate. And I enjoyed chatting with adults while soaking in the sun on a beautiful fall day.


Plan a Family-Friendly Hike in the Capital Region

Find a group hike led by experts on the New York State Parks Events Calendar which lists a variety of upcoming guided hikes that are suitable for all ages and abilities. A few Capital Region nature centers schedule family friendly hikes year round, and they also have group programs available upon request:

To plan your own hike, read Hiking Safety Rules That Save Lives and check one of several excellent books on New York trails. If hiking with young children, consider this list of local nature walks, with tips and trail descriptions for hiking:

  • Christman Sanctuary, Duanesburg, NY.
  • Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary, Feura Bush, NY.
  • Lisha Kill Natural Area, Niskayuna, NY.
  • Albany Pine Bush, Albany, NY.
  • John Boyd Thatcher Park, Voorheesville, NY.
  • W. Powell Bird Sanctuary, Old Chatham, NY.
  • Peebles Island State Park.  Waterford, NY.
  • Emma Treadwell Thatcher Nature Center, Voorheesville, NY.
  • Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Bethlehem, NY.


 Albany Kids Go Hiking

We love to hike with kids, and we’ve written a few articles about our adventures:

And so have our friends:

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Lissa October 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

We are planning to go on the Grafton Hike with this group! Just sorry we missed Hop Field – I’ll have to check that one out. Hollyhock Hollow sounds good, too. Thanks for posting!

Sandra Foyt October 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I’m hoping to do the Grafton Hike too, maybe we’ll see you there!

30Traveler November 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

When I was a kid, my Mom took us on lots of “bush walks” as we call them in New Zealand. Such a valuable thing for kids. I am just starting to incorporate more hiking and camping into my travel. Even though my Mom never took me camping, all those bush walks has still given me a positive attitude to the outdoors and the confidence to try outdoorsy stuff as an adult.
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Sandra Foyt November 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm

That’s great to hear! As a mom, I hope that some of what I do will have positive impact. And thanks for dropping by!
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