Criteria for a Baby-Friendly Hike

How hikes are evaluated:

Conventionally, hikes would be evaluated based on difficulty of terrain and changes in elevation. When hiking with babies, top issues for me to consider are:

1. Trail conditions – Can the baby be easily and safely transported along the trail? If so, what type of baby transportation works best?

  • pavedPaved Trail
  • Fine GravelFine Gravel / Packed Dirt Trail
  • CoarseGravelIconCoarse Gravel
  • JoggerIconJogger (Large-wheeled Stroller)
  • StrollerIconSmall-wheeled Stroller
  • BackpackIconBackpack or Carrier

2.  Quality of the post-pregnancy workout – Can the workout be maintained at a mainly aerobic level, without risk to the mom (many of which will not have worked out aerobically for several months)? Are there significant challenges, considering that stroller-pushing or carrying a backpack or front carrier, add resistance to the workout?

  • FlatIconFlat (Easy) Trail – least risk of anaerobic workout
  • RollingHillsFew / Gradual Hills (Moderate) Trail
  • SteepHillsHilly (Hard) Trail – most risk of anaerobic workout
  • Difficult Terrain or Navigation IconDifficult Terrain Navigation – Caution
  • StairsStairs

3.  Break opportunities – Are there good stopping places along the hike that can be used for water breaks, changing diapers, removing clothing layers, or having a snack? Are there benches or tables without great risk for acquiring ticks or poison oak?

  • Picnic Tables IconPicnic Tables
  • Bench IconBenches
  • Sit Spot IconMeadow / Field / Tarmac
  • Bathroom IconBathrooms
  • Business IconBusinesses (Cafes, etc.)

4.  Shade conditions – This varies according to time of day, but approximately what amount of the hike is shaded?

  • No Shade IconNo Shade
  • Shade25IconAbout 25 percent Shade
  • Shade50IconAbout 50 percent Shade
  • Shade75IconAbout 75 percent Shade
  • ShadeAllIconAlmost All Shade

Other items that are addressed with each hike:

    Attractions other than the hike itself, including but not limited to:

  • Dogs on leash IconDogs on Leash Allowed
  • Bikes Allowed IconBikes Allowed
  • Suitable for Biking with Baby  IconSuitable for Biking with Baby
  • animalsFarm Animals on site
  • Water Play IconWater Play areas: spray parks, wading rivers, beach access, ponds and lakes
  • playgroundPlayground on site
  • Limitations or restrictions to the hike area
  • Season for the hiking area
  • Handicapped access
  • Other logistics like fees, parking, and location
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