What makes a hike a family hike?

We’ve had a hard time scheduling hikes with other families this fall. Some of our friends went straight from soccer to hockey with nary a free weekend in between. Others juggle long work commutes or business travel, making weekends precious family time. We’ve had our own problems freeing up even half-days for hikes, from household chores to homework projects to house guests. Every weekend we’re confronted with yet another perfectly good set of reasons not to put on our boots and get on a trail.

I spent some time last week looking at family trips listed on the AMC website, and what I saw there makes me think we’re not alone in finding it hard to get out the door. Out of 64 activities listed for last weekend, only two — a Saturday morning hike in Fells by the Boston Chapter and a family hike to Trustom Pond offered by the Narragansett Chapter — received a Family designation. I’m sure that other of the weekend’s hikes and outings were open to families with children. Still, that’s small number of family-focused offerings.

It can’t be that hard to get kids and families — our own and others — together on trails, right? What are your solutions for overcoming the black hole of family logistics and schedules? Have you organized family hikes through your AMC Chapter, or your scout troop, or with friends? What advice can you share with the rest of us?

Great Kids, Great Outdoors” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Kristen Laine.

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