6 Terrific Apps for Hiking with Kids

Integrating a short hike into your trip is a great way for your family to get some exercise on a family vacation and a fun way to explore a destination. These apps help you find great walks no matter where you are.

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    Mother and kids hiking in sunny forest
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    Type in any city name, and this free app from National Geographic will introduce you to the best hiking trails in the area. When you're done, you can share your experience with others and add your own suggestions. With more than 50,000 trails at your fingertips and filters for difficulty and length, you're sure to find a route you like. (Free; iPhone and Android)

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    Kids love geocaching because it turns an everyday hike into an exciting treasure hunt. Geocaching is a wildly popular worldwide game where players hide caches of small items and tokens and then post the GPS coordinates for others to find. With recommendations for beginners and over two million caches out there, you'll be able to get in on the action in no time. (Free; iPhone and Android)

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    Think Facebook for hikers. This outdoorsy social network is a user-friendly crowd-sourcing tool for finding local trails and sharing your favorite outdoor finds. You can even follow other hikers and families to see where they’re exploring and bookmark your favorites. 

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    A must for fitness-minded folk who love stats, MapMyHike will give you tons of feedback on your hikes, including how far, how fast, how high, and the all-important how many calories burned. (Free; iPhone and Android)

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    If you're into creating souvenir journals of your family hikes, check out Ramblr. You start by creating a trip, then Ramblr gives you tools to enhance your storytelling with video, photo, journal notes, and audio recordings. When you're done, you've got an adventure that's shareable on social media or email. (Free; iPhone and Android)

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    This straightforward app can be useful when hiking with kids or even adults of varying fitness and skill levels. Elevation Chart notes your elevation and walking distance along your route, and can help you find alternative trails if you find yourself on a trail too steep or difficult for your posse to handle. ($1.99; iPhone only)