My four kids went back to school this past Monday. So on Saturday, we asked them, “what do you want to do on your last day of summer”? They quickly responded with let’s go hiking at South Mountain State Park. It’s one of our favorite state parks in North Carolina! The hike to the waterfall is mostly easy, on a wide path. There are sections where you are walking over tree roots and boulders, but to my kids, that makes it even better! Our favorite hike is the High Shoals Falls Loop because it takes you to the waterfall and for the majority of the hike there are small pools of cool, refreshing water. This is the reason why my kids wanted to go here! We didn’t hike to the waterfall this time, at the end of the trail there are pretty much vertical steps the rest of the way up to the waterfall. So we went most of the way up and then hung our hammocks and read books while the kids played in the water and caught crayfish (crawfish) or whatever you’d like to call them! They also used leftover granola bars to attract the tiny fish.
South Mountain State Park also has additional backpacking and hiking trails in addition to equestrian trails and camping, a group camping area and a small camp group area, which is right by the stream. How awesome would it be to sleep right next to the bubbling stream? We used to have a pop-up camper and we drove through the campground one time to pick our favorite spot – it’s number 17 in case you want in on our little secret!
Here’s a list of our Top 5 (+ 2 more – optional) things to take on a day hike with kids!
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- Daypack – we just use an old backpack for short hikes. Although, this North Face Daypack has great reviews.
- Snacks – we take granola bars (like these) and trail mix
- Camera – we just use our iPhones!
- First Aid Kit – let’s be honest, kids always need band-aids. This one is small, so it would easily fit in a daypack.
- Hammocks – you can see my hammock post here on my favorite hammock!
- Books – here is the book I took, have you read it?
Now depending on the age of your children, your list may look a little different.
Check out these photos of our last day of summer fun then go check out South Mountain State Park!
What do you have on your day hike must have list?