hiking trails in reno

Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Reno

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Hiking in Reno area can be a great year round activity! Take advantage of the sunny days and bundle up even if its cold. If you’re looking for kid-friendly hiking trails in Reno (or close by), these hikes are safe, can be modified and most offer terrain changes.


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Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Reno Area

Make sure to also download the Junior Ranger Activity guide to enjoy at some of these places!

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.

Davis Creek Regional Park

With 3 different hiking trails, picnic area, camping, a fishing pond, and more we love exploring Davis Creek. There are plenty of areas that are flat for little explorers and a stream to build nature boats and send them down!

.7 mile Nature Trail a loop around the pond
1.7 mile Discovery Trail circles the park
7.5 mile Ophir Creek Trail (winds up the mountain to Price Lake and Tahoe Meadows)

Galena Creek Hiking Area

Galena Creek Regional Park, 15-20 minutes drive from downtown, is a forested area on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada.

This is a go-to destination on weekends for families hike through beautiful aspens (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, Page 14: 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!

Kings Canyon Waterfall

Location: Kings Canyon Rd, Carson City, NV 89703

Located just in Carson City this is worth the drive. Enjoy a 25ft waterfall throughout spring! This is a short hike about .25 miles to the waterfall. Other trails available on paths.

Mayberry Park: Tree-Lined Truckee River Trail

Mayberry Park is a great 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 Interpretive Gardens 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: 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.

Starting point:

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

Bartley Ranch

Bartley ranch is one of our favorite hiking trails in Reno! Not only does it offer 3 different hiking loops it’s also the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic. With lots of grass to enjoy as well as picnic tables. My kids 5, 7, and 10 navigated the trails fine. Parts would be jogging stroller friendly but it is both a dirt and rocky path.

Mayberry Park

Location: 101 Woodland Avenue, Reno, NV 89523

Oxbow Nature Study

Location: 3100 Dickerson Rd, Reno, NV 89503

Oxbow Nature Study Area is 22 area with year-round restrooms. It is located along the Truckee River.

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!

Must-Have Hiking Items

Baby

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.

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.

Kids

Hiking Sandals – My friends call these adventure sandals and we can’t call them anything else!
Hiking Shoes – These are great for longer hikes and different terrain.
Sun Hat – Sun protection is a must. These type of hats are so great and I love the adjustable chin strap.
Water backpack – As you get more into hiking with your kids, investing in one of these is a great idea.

Dogs

The Top Paw two-in-one jacket with sweater. The outer shell is a reflective waterproof layer; the inner sweater is a cozy fleece.

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.

Fun on the Hiking Trails in Reno

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


Co-Founder

Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the board for Northern Nevada Health Systems, and Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation, and she is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, exploring the outdoors, working out, local coffee shops, and dessert!