Hiking in Oregon is both a statewide treasure and pastime. Few places in the world offer such a concentration of beautiful views, historic and scenic sites, and a variety of levels of difficulty so diverse everyone can find a way to get outside and have fun. Family hikes are a wonderful way to make the most of your time spent with Meredith Lodging in one of our Central Oregon vacation rentals. We have put together a list of our favorite kid-friendly hikes for you and your family to enjoy the next time you #staywithmeredith.
Todd Lake Looking for a perfect place to picnic with the family with stunning views of Mt. Bachelor – look no further than a hike to Todd Lake! This relaxed 1.6-mile loop is fun for the whole family and you will all be rewarded with beautiful mountain and meadow views. This outing is popular, but the meadow offers plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the extra-special destination, tucked in at the base of Broken Top and next to the Three Sisters Wilderness area.
Sparks Lake The Sparks Lake trail is a pretty, scenic, out, and back trail of 20 miles. This trail offers plenty of opportunities to view wildlife and is rated as moderate in terms of difficulty. Plenty of beautiful Lake views and your pups are welcome to join you if they are kept on a leash. A 2.5-mile loop section of trail called the Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail is a local favorite.
Pilot Butte This popular and kid-friendly out and back offers scenic views of the Oregon Cascades and vast stretches of the High Desert. It is a mile each way from the base to the summit and back and has a mild elevation gain if 452 feet. This trail is accessible year-round and dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash. If you are looking to avoid crowds, consider hitting this trail early in the day or on a weekday.
Steelhead Falls This pretty and short trail (.5 miles) is big on scenery, surrounded by cliffs showing off millions of years of erosion in their many layers, while eagles often fly overhead and wildflowers paint the landscape. Many families hike down the hill for a picnic or afternoon of fishing in the Deschutes River. Let the sound of the falls take your worries away, but watch out for rattlesnakes, who are known to hide in the rocks and brush on this trail. This trail is opened year-round and dogs are allowed on leash.
Benham Falls This trailhead is one of the most popular outings for families staying in Sunriver, and with good reason. The trail is readily accessible and wide and well-groomed for hikers of all levels and considered easy in terms of difficulty. The trail winds along the Deschutes River until it reaches the Falls viewpoint, where you and your family will be rewarded with beautiful views, a great photo-op, and the calming sounds of the rush of the river.
Fall River Falls This 5.9-mile trail is a moderately trafficked out and back near Bend is a wonderful experience for all skill levels. Dogs are allowed on this trail, which is best used from April to November. All visitors will be rewarded with beautiful views of the falls and lots of spots to stop and enjoy the scenery.
Shevlin Park This trail runs along Tumalo creek and connects to other trail paths both above and below the park (such as the Tumalo Creek Canyon Loop Hike). This family friendly hike will take your through ponderosa pine landscapes where you will see manzanita, rabbit brush and sagebrush shrubs. Kids will love the view of the Hixon Bridge which they may recognize as a prop from the movie Homeward Bound. Parents will love that this trail is easily accessible in Bend and offers full facilities.
Metolius Fish Hatchery Family-friendly, beautiful views and an easy trail that everyone will love…that is what you will find when you and your family hike the Metolius Fish Hatchery Trail, in the camp Sherman area, just a short, pretty drive from Bend and Sunriver. Considered a gem of Central Oregon, this 7.3 mile out and back is good for all skill levels and dogs are allowed on the trail, too.
After a day of making memories hiking in beautiful Central Oregon, you and your family will be eager to rest your legs and return to your beautiful, private Meredith Lodging Bend or Sunriver vacation rental. Many homes offer hot tubs – a proven way to get the kiddos relaxed before a good night’s sleep and another full day of adventure. View Meredith Lodging’s Central Oregon vacation homes at MeredithLodging.com.