The Best Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Every Southern State

Red River Gorge Rock Bridge Trail
Photo: AllTrails

Hiking with kids can be a real gamble. You may envision a walk filled with curiosity and views only to find yourself trudging uphill with endless groans from the little ones. Though you can't always control the elements, you can set yourself up for an enjoyable day of discovery with a little prep work. Simple things, like preparing the right snack and making sure you've got suitable gear, can go a long way. But most importantly, picking the right path will help make sure your family makes the right kind of memories on your journey.

When you're taking the whole family into the wilderness, distance and difficulty can be the difference between adventure and disaster. Consider the age and experience level of your kids. You don't want to take on anything too aggressive if you've got little ones or novice hikers in tow. Take mileage and elevation into account as well as what kind of wonders you'll encounter along the way. Having a waterfall, creek, or vista point to look forward to can motivate the whole family to keep moving, young and old.

To uncover some of the most enjoyable family-friend hikes in the South, we looked to AllTrails, a crowdsourced trail review app that makes finding the right trail near you a breeze. Here are their top kid-friendly hikes under 4 miles in every Southern state.

01 of 15

Alabama: Sougahoagdee Falls

Alabama: Sougahoagdee Falls
AllTrails

William B Bakhead National Forest, Houston, AL

  • Distance: 3.5 Miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and a waterfall
  • Learn more
02 of 15

Arkansas: Whitaker Point Trail

Arkansas: Whitaker Point Trail
AllTrails

Ozark National Forest, Pettigrew, AR

  • Distance: 2.9 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
03 of 15

Georgia: Amicalola Falls via East Ridge Loop Trail

Amicalola falls
AllTrails

Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA

  • Distance: 2 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leach
  • Expect to See: Forrest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
04 of 15

Florida: Econ River Wilderness Area Loop

Florida: Econ River Wilderness Area Loop
AllTrails

Econ River Wilderness Area, Oviedo, FL

  • Distance: 2.6 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: River
  • Learn more
05 of 15

Kentucky: Red River Gorge Rock Bridge Trail

Red River Gorge Rock Bridge Trail
AllTrails

Clifty Wilderness, Pine Ridge, KY

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: Natural rock arch, creek, and waterfall
  • Learn more
06 of 15

Louisiana: Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail

Longleaf Vista
AllTrails

Kisatchie National Forest, Gorum, LA

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and river
  • Learn more
07 of 15

Maryland: Cascade Falls Loop Trail

Maryland: Cascade Falls Loop Trail
AllTrails

Patapsco Valley State Park, Elkridge, MD

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
08 of 15

Mississippi: CCC Camp Trail

Mississippi CCC Camp Trail
AllTrails

Tishomingo State Park, Dennis, MS

  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life, rock formations, and stream
  • Learn more
09 of 15

North Carolina: Catawba Falls Trail

North Carolina: Catawba Falls Trail
AllTrails

Pisgah National Forest, Old Fort, NC

  • Distance: 2.1 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
10 of 15

Oklahoma: Turkey Mountain Yellow Trail

Turkey Mountain
AllTrails

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, Tulsa, OK

  • Distance: 3.7 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: River
  • Learn more
11 of 15

South Carolina: Yellow Branch Falls

Yellow Branch Falls
AllTrails

Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park, Walhalla, SC

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
12 of 15

Tennessee: Laurel Falls Trail

Laurel Falls
AllTrails

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, TN

  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest life and waterfall
  • Learn more
13 of 15

Texas: Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Santa Elena Canyon Trail
AllTrails

Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, TX

  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Easy
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Cliffs, river, and creek
  • Learn more
14 of 15

Virginia: Dark Hollow Falls Trail

Dark Hollow Falls Trail Virginia
AllTrails

Shenandoah National Park, Stanley, VA

  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Not allowed
  • Expect to See: Forest and waterfall
  • Learn more
15 of 15

West Virginia: Seneca Rocks Trail

Seneca Rocks Trail
AllTrails

Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, Seneca Rocks, WV

  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • AllTrails Rating: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Pets: Dogs allowed on leash
  • Expect to See: Rock formations
  • Learn more
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