6 Family-Friendly Hikes

Posted in: Civil War History, Outdoor Adventure, Family Fun

family friendly hikes collage numbered.jpg

Hiking is a budget-friendly and healthy way for families to spend time together and reconnect, but finding the right trail that is suitable for a variety of ages and abilities is key. While Frederick County's scenic Catoctin Mountain range lends itself to challenging trails that even seasoned hikers can appreciate, families can also find trails for hikers of all ages to trek in the area.

Hit the trails with these six family-friendly hikes in Frederick County:

  1. Catoctin Furnace Trail
    Thurmont, MD
    This self-guided out and back trail crosses U.S. 15 via an elevated foot path and crosses a few different types of bridges. Hikers can park at Catoctin Furnace and pick up the trail there.
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  2. Hike to Cunningham Falls
    Thurmont, MD
    (lower trail) This easy to moderate trail is the shortest and easiest access to Cunningham Falls. Interpretive signs and benches along the way.
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  3. Rivermist Park
    Frederick, MD
    This park has paved walking/biking trails that parallel the Monocacy River. There is also river access via a boat ramp here.  It is approximately 3 miles out and back on the trail. While close to major roads and shopping, it feels very remote.  Hikers can spot owls, toads, deer, rabbits and other wildlife along this trail.
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  4. The Junction Trail at Monocacy National Battlefield*
    Frederick, MD
    This trail begins near the Visitor Center at Monocacy National Battlefield.  It is an out and back trail that runs along a tree line and fields. Plants along the trail in the summer attracted many butterflies. Ask rangers in the Visitor Center for directions if you have difficulty locating the start of the trail.
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  5. Gambrill Mill at Monocacy National Battlefield*
    Frederick, MD
    This 1/2-mile loop trail provides scenic views of the Monocacy River as well as interpretive waysides. A portion of this trail is wheelchair accessible.
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  6. Trails at Worthington Farm at Monocacy National Battlefield*
    Frederick, MD
    The Ford Loop (download a brochure in PDF format), interprets key events in the Battle of Monocacy. This flat, scenic trail takes hikers past pastures and a portion of the trail runs alongside the Monocacy River.  For an extra challenge, try the Brooks Hill Loop trail and nature walk (download a brochure in PDF format). Hikers climb to the top of a ridge and are rewarded with scenic views.
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While these hikes are good bets for hikers of all ages, it's always important to be aware of the limits and abilities of others in your hiking party. 

Happy hiking!