Go on a Bike Hike
For something a bit different on a crisp fall weekend, try a bike hike. This type of outing is a great way for the entire family to enjoy nature and get great exercise. There are many different kinds of trails that you can explore ranging from 1 mile to 15+ miles. Children's ages and ability can help determine the right one for your family.
The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization that has worked with local communities to turn abandoned railroad lines into public recreation paths. These trails are perfect for family biking. To date, the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy has assisted communities in creating over 13,935 miles of rail-trails throughout the United States. To find one near you, visit the TrailLink portion of the site to select from over 1,400 trails. The selector allows users to narrow down trails by location, activity, type of service and trail length.
Local and regional biking associations are also excellent sources of information. The New England Mountain Bike Association provides information on trails, conditions, and biking skills and equipment. The Association also holds group events, some of which are specifically designed for families and children. Similar organizations exist in many areas of the country. You may wish to check out sites like Go City Kids for additional information on trails and events in your area. In the Washington D.C. metro area, many families head for the C&O Canal to bike on the weekends. The Cape Cod Bike Trails are also popular with Massachusetts families and tourists visiting in the area.
Bike hikes can be a great experience for the entire family, but remember not to push the kids too hard if they can't go as far as you'd planned. Always remember to wear bike helmets that fit well. Visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute's website for more information on choosing the right bike helmet for your child.