Often people tell me they don’t like hiking. They usually recall their hiking adventures with parents as an exhausting, draining, and overall pretty miserable experience. I find it so sad to hear. It might be that the hikes were simply too boring or too advanced for their age. That’s why it is especially important for parents to choose tours that are suitable for children and if you don’t, your kids might be going to dislike hiking for the rest of their lives.
Family-friendly hikes and fun trails for kids are very easy to be found on the Internet and family blogs. We can recommend “Wandererlebnisse für Familien” leaflet (free to order and download here) that Swiss Post is releasing every year now. We’ve had a great experience choosing Diemtigtal last year (Here you can read our review), so this year, out of 8 family-friendly hikes in Switzerland we picked a remote but the most beautiful destination, we went to a magic Maggiatal!
Valle Maggia is an absolutely fascinating alpine valley of the river Maggia in the canton of Ticino. We drove by car from Zurich and stopped at Maggia village to take a walk up to Someo. We planed to fully complete the trail and take a loop back through the villages, but the estimated 2,5-hour-hike took us at least 2 hours longer than expected. Our 2,5-year-old was very excited and was insisting on walking. “I walk!” she declared over and over, plodding up the trail as fast as her little legs could carry her, which was still maddeningly slow. Time to time we would still manage to put her back in her backpack (Note, Someo track is not stroller friendly), otherwise she did such a great job with almost no tears. Reaching Someo, we walked back and stoped for a swim at the Casscata di Guimaglio waterfall and afterwards we took a bus back to Maggia.
What we loved the most about this hike was its diversity. The track was always different and our anticipation for new things to see and feel was just growing with every step. We walked on loose rocks and small, rocky ledges, on soft sand and on green grass, through the fairytale forest and charming stone Rustico villages. It was fun and dynamic, and the kids absolutely enjoyed it. We were also excited to discover «Il fiume Maggia» park, which was helpful to learn about the local area, Someo forest and all local plants and animals. It was a hot summer day, but we didn’t feel the heat because almost all this time we were walking in the cool shade of the trees. Our 7-year-old said: “Mama, it’s the best hike we have ever done so far!”.
The biggest highlight, of course, was the fact that we could stop at any time and swim in the river. The water was crystal-clear, cool but not cold, flowing quietly in small streams which made it possible to swim safely even with our little one. To swim on the rocks was such a unique experience for all of us. It was tempting to linger, so we did. We took our time to enjoyed the view on the countless stones lining the Maggia river, the mountains and the forest, the waterfall and the village basked green and peaceful in the late-daylight.
It was a glorious day. Our 7-year-old had hiked farther than she ever had and mostly had a blast, the little one included. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been out on the trails in that magic hour just before sunset, let alone been able to share it with my husband and my girls.
When it comes to hiking with kids, every age has its own challenges and difficulties to consider. Meltdowns on the trail will happen, but they won’t last long if you choose the right track. Hopefully, this post will inspire you to get out on the trail with your kids, no matter what age they are. If you have a question, please leave it in the comments on Instagram or Facebook and I’ll respond.
Someo hiking route
Bathing and nature enjoyment at the Maggia
Giumaglio 0 h 45 min
Lodano 1 h 20 min
Maggia 2 h 10 min
*This article was created in collaboration with Swiss Post. Image rights ©Family First & Elena Habicher.
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