Parents are recommending fun trail games to help kids go the extra mile on a family hike - literally!

If the beautiful scenery and fresh air aren't entertainment enough to keep your kids motivated for the long haul, you'll want to keep some of these ideas handy next time you hit the trails. Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities for any age, and when the kids have fun with it, you'll get to do it that much more often!

We want to hear about your clever ideas for keeping your kids occupied during a hike! Add your favorite family hiking games to the list below.

    Feed Birds/Leave a Bunny Trail of Crumbs

    Sunshine Girl:  Going for a walk in a woodsy area, bring old fruit or veggies for the deer to munch on and leave it on an old tree stump or brush; old seeds or bread crumbs for the birds. Going for a walk near a river or pond, bring stale bread to feed the fish or ducks. Research food items that are healthy for the wildlife in your area and bring some to scatter along your walk. Check if any of it was eaten on your back. Bring home and properly dispose of any plastic bags or containers.

    Pedometer Challenge

    Kelly R.:  Whether you all have your own fitness trackers or just check your steps on your phone, you can play fun hiking games with your pedometer! If everyone is using their own, see which family member can log the most steps. And if you're sharing one, see who can come the closest to guessing the total number of steps, or try to beat your family steps record each time.

    Alphabet Game

    Kelly R.:  Think of a category, and work your way through the alphabet naming something in that category for each letter from A to Z. This is a favorite for my family, whether we're walking around the neighborhood or hiking and playing trail games, because it feels fresh every time we change the topic. We've done movie characters, 4-syllable words, things at Disneyland, and so many more. Good luck with the letter X!

    Wildlife Challenge

    Kelly R.:  See how many different types of animals you can spot on your hike. Let the kids snap photos with your phone of each new bird, mammal and bug you see. Look them up when you get home if you need help identifying them. You'll learn more about the animals that are native to your area, and it's a great motivation for kids to pay attention to their surroundings.

    Scavenger Hunt

    Kelly R.:  Make a big list of things you might see on your family hike (or find one on the internet). Print out your list and let the kids take turns checking off items as they're spotted. Change up the list each time, and you'll keep your hike games new and fresh for a while! It's fun to create the list together, with each family member coming up with a handful of items.


    Kelly R.:  Have an improv storytime where one person begins telling a made-up story, then each person in the group takes turns adding on another part. Keep rotating through storytellers until your story is complete. This game can last as long as you like!

    Rainbow Hunt

    Kelly R.:  Find something along your hike that matches each color of the rainbow in order, starting with red. Make it a little more challenging by having each family member spot something different for every color.


    Kelly R.:  Geocaching is a large-scale treasure hunt where you use a free app to navigate to hidden containers called Geocaches. There are millions hidden around the world, so this is a fun hike activity that you can get into at home and still enjoy when you travel!

Primary photo:   Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.