Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Reno: My Top 4

Winter in Reno can be a great time to get outdoors with your little one and dog! Take advantage of the sunny days and bundle up. If you’re looking for scenic kid-friendly hiking trails close to home, these hikes are safe, can be modified (20 to 45 min.) and most offer terrain changes.

Since moving to Reno in 2017, I’ve explored nearly every kid-friendly trail, park, and loop that Reno has to offer. I chose my favorite trails to share that work for your stroller, dog, or toddler on foot. I’ve included some tips for your babies and fur babies.

Caughlin Ranch: neighborhood greenbelt

Caughlin Ranch, a master-planned community in west Reno, is my go-to location for brisk walks with my dog and baby in stroller. There are about 20 miles of walking trails winding within communities that overlook greenbelts, ponds, meadows, and juniper-studded hills.

You will often see wildlife, geese, ducklings, and even resident horses of a nearby property. These paved trails are immaculately maintained. You can create your own out-and-back or loop trails and keep them short or long (20 to 45 minutes+.)

Starting points:

Caughlin Parkway at Caughlin Crossing: The paved trails are in red. My favorite loop leads from this starting point to the Caughlin Club then circles back through Caughlin Creek and Juniper Trails neighborhoods.

Lesser known starting points: you can find guest parking within communities east of the Parkway: Bridgecreek Court (first entrance) at Caughlin Creek Road, or, Quail Creek Court at Caughlin Creek Road. Both put you in close proximity to a trailhead.

Galena Creek Hiking Area: stunning alpine forest

Galena Creek Regional Park, 15-20 minutes drive from downtown, is a forested area on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. This is my go-to destination on weekends for a family hike through beautiful aspens. (note the winter season lasts through April 30th and the hours and days are limited: 9am-4pm, Friday through Sunday) The south entrance is a great place to start your hike.

Starting point (south entrance):

Bitterbrush Trail:  Full trail map: Start at the trailhead of the Galena Creek Hiking Area. Bitterbrush trail is a wide unpaved connector trail between the north and south sides of the park. Great spot for a kid-friendly hike! Great for strollers, toddlers on foot and dogs. This mostly flat out-and-back trail (0.4 miles each way) leads to a meadow (where Jones Creek Loop crosses Bitterbrush).

During the winter, it is fully snow covered but you’ll find a well traveled path; on a sunny winter day you can hike to the meadow and back with your little one and dog in an hour, and there are gentle slopes for sledding along the way!

Mayberry Park: tree-lined Truckee River trail

Mayberry Park is my go-to river walk trail. This park is notable for its dramatic cottonwood trees, small beaches with river access and paved bike trail. It is located west of Mayberry-Highland Park suburbs.

The trail, including a portion of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway, leads from one end of the park to the other. This is an easy, short out-and-back trail. You will find River School Farm is next to Mayberry Park.

If you cross Aspen Glen Drive, you encounter a gorgeous venue and year-round farm; you will see a grassy area with many meandering paths, a red moon gate and other outdoor sculpture, a variety of trees, flowers and interesting plants. On any given morning it is a quiet landscape to explore, a spectacular environment hiding in plain sight!

Starting point:

The end of Woodland Ave. (start at the intersection of Mayberry bike path and Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway). You can take this trail out to the River School Farm and back.  Here is a helpful description and map.

Virginia Lake: urban loop near Midtown

South of midtown, Virginia Lake, a manmade lake constructed in the 1930’s, has a 1 mile long loop trail that is flat and paved. Not so much a hiking trail, but a walking path, this easy loop is great for strollers and dogs and works well if you’re short on time. It’s my go-to trail if I’m near Midtown and have an extra 20 minutes.

I can complete the loop quickly at a brisk pace. Even in this urban setting, you’ll find a sparkling lake (on sunny days), mountain views, numerous water birds, a bird island sanctuary, sagebrush, junipers, and a bustling surrounding community. Last year, the city of Reno dedicated a new piece of outdoor sculpture at the lake, you can’t miss the larger-than-life dragonfly!

Starting point:

East side of the lake (it is less crowded), park near the intersection of Eastshore Drive and Eastshore Pl.

Quick Tips for gear and cold weather hikes

Reno during the winter is cold but luckily there are many sunny days. You can keep your active lifestyle if you plan ahead. The most important thing is keeping baby cozy. If you plan with the right gear, and the wind chill isn’t bad, a brisk hike outdoors with the baby and dog can be an everyday event!

Items I swear by:

For baby:

  1. The JJ Cole Bundleme (which comes in three varieties: original, urban, polar). This is the most game-changing, well made item I have found for the stroller; it has allowed me to remain active in the cold season and it keeps my son warm and cozy.
  2. Uppababy Stroller. (Vista) This stroller has performed incredibly for our family for 2 years; it’ll be the only stroller we ever need since it will support up to 50 lbs. It’s taken a beating on many outdoor trails I’ve tried in all kinds of weather. What I love about it is the UPF 50+ sunshade, rain shield, hefty wheels and shock absorbing front and rear suspension. If you plan to be outside every day on paved and unpaved trails, this stroller will perform.

For dog:

  1. The Top Paw two-in-one jacket with sweater. The outer shell is a reflective waterproof layer; the inner sweater is a cozy fleece. Layers can be separated and used together or apart.
  2. 16’ Triton Retractable Dog Leash (tangle-free, heavy duty, anti-slip handle, strong nylon tape/ribbon, one-handed brake, pause). Works well when walking the dog with the stroller. Available online on Amazon.

What are some of your favorite family-friendly hiking locations? See you out there, fellow Northern Nevada Moms!


Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog friendly outings that work in all seasons. Follow her on Instagram @maureen.lowe.





Maureen Lowe
Maureen Lowe

Maureen Lowe is a Bay Area native that relocated to the high desert mountains of Southwest Reno with her family in 2017. Mama to her active pup and toddler boy, Maureen is a textile designer and graduate of CCA San Francisco. With a lifelong love of nature and the arts, Maureen has made it a mission to explore Reno’s scenic trails and cultural offerings to find kid and dog-friendly outings that work in all seasons.