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Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Anaheim

Kid-Friendly Hikes near Anaheim - Family hiking together
Headshot of Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
March 25, 2021

Hiking as a family is a great way to get outdoors, experience nature, and connect as a family instead of connecting to various devices. Hikes around Anaheim feature diverse wildlife such as deer, rabbits, and birds. Families can walk through forests, search for prehistoric fossils, admire a waterfall, or soak in the sea air.

Exploring California's nature parks provides a fun and free way to take a break from California's theme parks. You never know what fun surprises and unique experiences await on our favorite kid-friendly hiking trails near Anaheim.

5 Fun Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails

Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park

Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park

Riley Wilderness Park is a favorite place to hike and watch for wildlife. A group of resident deer live here and often hang out in the shade of oak trees. Over five miles of well-maintained trails and families can walk varying lengths to suit their plans.

Riley Wilderness Park also has a ranger station with interpretive displays. Exhibits show the area's history and explore the wildlife that lives nearby. In addition, a one-acre native plant butterfly garden is a great place to explore with the family.

Amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking fountains.

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park

Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park has 30 miles of marked trails amongst the forest, two streams, endangered plants, and various wildlife. The park features two especially popular hikes--the Pectin Reef Loop and Dripping Cave.

The Pectin Reef Loop allows kids to search the prehistoric reef for fossils. It's a great short hike to do as a family, and kids can learn about changing geography while digging for ancient clams.

In the earlier days of California's history, stagecoaches were often robbed in this area. Robbers used to hide from the law in Dripping Cave. This trail is five miles long, which might be too challenging for younger kids, but the route is flat and easy to navigate. There is a lot of wildlife in this area, and hikers are often treated to mule deer, rabbit, and hawk sightings.

James Dilley Greenbelt Preserve

James Dilley Preserve

James Dilley Preserve is home to the only natural lakes in Orange County. The hike is about three and a half miles long and takes families to Barbara's Lake and back. On clear days, hikers can see the Santa Ana Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. Barbara's Lake is named for Barbara Stuart, who fought for the preservation of this area.

Holy Jim Falls (Cleveland National Forest)

Everybody loves a good waterfall, so we know the Holy Jim Falls trail will be a hit with the whole family. This is one of the most popular kid-friendly hikes in the area. The trail takes hikers through Trabuco Canyon. The hike to the falls and back to the trailhead is just under three miles. Most of the hike is shaded, which is a significant plus on sunny days. Holy Jim Falls is about 20 feet high and is best viewed after heavy rains.

Crystal Cove State Park (Bluff Top Trail)

Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove State Park offers three-and-a-half miles of gorgeous beach, perfect for swimming, relaxing, or walking. The Bluff Top Trail follows the bluff and gives hikers excellent views of the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The trail leads to Little Treasure Cove.

Crystal Cove State Park offers a total of 18 miles of hiking trails. Families might try the Moro Canyon trail to experience some of the backcountry wilderness in Crystal Cove State Park.

Anaheim is Very Kid-Friendly!‍

Anaheim is packed with kid-friendly activities. Enjoy family-focused fun during your Anaheim get-away.