Through the eyes of kids, Kamloops has countless epic adventures, natural playgrounds, and ideal family picnic spots. While hiking with kids can sometimes be challenging, exploring together as a family will store in their memory bank for a long time. Here are 5 family-friendly hikes, perfect for kids 3-7 years old, to check off the ol list.
McArthur Island Park
Loaded with friendly wildlife, the McArthur Island Loop is a 3km, paved loop that meanders along the Thompson River. With the Park being a hub of activities, make it an afternoon of adventure. Bring your putters and golf balls for a free outdoor mini golf game, hit up the local skate park, or catch a drive-in movie on weekend evenings until the end of August. Kids will also love saying hi to the friendly marmots or glee with excitement when a butterfly lands on their nose in the butterfly gardens.
Locals’ tip: Stop by nearby Red Beard Cafe after your walk for a well-deserved lunch on their sunny patio.
Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours
The Isobel Lake low mobility trail is splendid for families. Kids can learn about the forest and surrounding plants through interpretive signage, as well as enjoy mid-hike snacks (always snacks) at the Forest Inn picnic spot or try to reel in their first fish. Isobel Lake is a designated Youth/Disabled Accompanied lake between April 1 - Sept 30 which means only children under the age of 16 and BC residents who have a disability plus a companion can fish here. The adventure is totally worth the 40-minute drive.
Locals’ tip: There are a myriad of geocaches in the area for an added “treasure hunt.”
Duration:1.5 - 2 hours
Panorama Trail | Kenna Cartwright Park
Kenna Cartwright Park is the largest municipal park in BC with over 40km of trails. The north end of the park, specifically the Panorama Trail, is great for young kids because it is close to everything, there are no major climbs, it has great flow and incredible views. Kids will love running through the sagebrush and will feel like they are on top of the world at many of the viewpoints. playing in the dirt. Furry, four-legged friends are free to explore off-leash and sniff their way through the rocky vistas
Locals’ tip: From the Panorama Trail you can spot planes, trains, boats, soccer matches at McArthur Island Park and so much more - hello never ending game of I-Spy.
Duration: 1 hour
The McConnell Lake Trail is a winding loop around the lake and lets the kids burn off energy (do we hear nap-time calling on the way back to town?). From geocaches and a dock, to an old log cabin, you’re sure to find something new each time you venture around. Hint: Remember to add to your snowshoe list this winter. With a 3 and 5 year old, the hike usually takes about 90 minutes with plenty of breaks and photo ops.
Locals’ tip: Pack or grab a lunch from Fresh Street Market to enjoy lakeside as a family at one of the many benches along the trail.
While this one can be a little more challenging for the littles, the reward at the top is pretty incredible. Accessed from the day use parking lot at Paul Lake Provincial Park, Gibraltar Rock Trail has a fairly steady incline for the trek to the top - we suggest making up little games along the way to keep the little hikers motivated.
Locals’ tip: Enjoy a cool splash in the warm summer waters of Paul Lake after your adventure. Pack lunch or dinner and have a beach-side picnic in the park.
Time: 1.5-2 hrs