Looking to enjoy the great outdoors? Well lucky for us, while Long Beach has all the amenities of a big city, it has a surprising amount of fun – and accessible – hiking opportunities for families! Whether you’re a family that loves the great outdoors or is just dipping your toe in hiking, there’s something for you in Long Beach. Check out these best family hiking spots in Long Beach and try one with your family soon!
I’ve never been super outdoorsy. Then I married an Eagle Scout. So when we had kids he was so excited to get them outside. Over the past 8 years we’ve loaded our kids up in strollers, double strollers, wagons, and Ergo’s and explored all over Long Beach (and beyond!) Here are some of our favorite spots we’ve visited.
Did we miss one of your favorite spots? Drop it in the comments so we can check it out and add it to our list!
El Dorado Nature Center
The quintessential nature hike experience in Long Beach has got to be the El Dorado Nature Center. With over 2 miles of trails nestled in 105 acres of wild life, it’s a hike that is NOT to be missed. Whether you’re taking the tiniest hikers on the 1/4 mile paved path or older kids with a little more stamina on the 2 mile loop, there’s something for everyone.
Plus, you can hang out by the ponds, check out the wildlife, play in the amphitheater area and so much more!
Related Post: Tips for Visiting the El Dorado Nature Center
El Dorado North
You may have visited El Dorado Park North for the El Dorado Frontier, to take a pedal boat ride on the lake, or visit one of the great playgrounds. However, there are also some nice walking paths. It’s a very different kind of hike than what you’ll find at the Nature Center. We think you’ll enjoy the green scenery, large trees, and yes, you can even end up at one of the many playgrounds.
Find out more information here.
Signal Hill has a couple of great hiking opportunities. The first is a popular one with adults and older kids and that’s climbing the beast herself – Signal Hill! Yes, adventurous hikers set off at the bottom of this landmark and hike all the way to Hilltop Park at the top. Where, on a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing 360 view ranging from the ocean to the mountains.
If you’re not quite prepared for the steep uphill climb, consider starting from Discovery Well Park and taking the more moderate walking path. From this path, you’ll still get some wonderful views of the mountains and you’ll overlook the Long Beach Airport. My kids love watching the planes take off and land from this amazing overlook.
Related Post: Discovery Well Park in Signal Hill
Dominguez Gap Wetlands
Beginning near Los Cerritos Park, this is truly a hidden gem of Long Beach. I am a Long Beach Native that has lived in the Bixby Knolls/Cal Heights area my entire life and only recently found out about this wonderful walking path! The wetlands is home to many different birds and little critters – so our kids love looking for lizards, bunnies and all kids of water birds along the way. In the spring, there are also some beautiful flowers blooming along the dirt path.
If you follow the path all the way to the end, your kids will be rewarded with a stop at C. David Molina Park, a recently updated park in North Long Beach.
It’s a bit hidden and hard to find, but you’ll be glad once you do!
Willow Springs Park
Located in Signal Hill, Willow Springs Park is hidden between the Sunnyside Cemetery and Spring Street. At Willow Springs Park you can navigate a a walking loop that leads to one acre of restored seasonal wetlands and 10 acres of native California habitat with native plants and trees. (It’s also a surprisingly beautiful place to take family pictures in the fall!)
As a fun added bonus, Willow Springs Park is the site of an Agents of Discovery mission. Agents of Discovery is an educational mobile gaming app that has fun (and FREE!) missions to get youth active outdoors. Your kids can learn about the environment and local wildlife through fun challenges. Download the Agents of Discovery app and the Willow Springs Mission to play without the need for WifFi or data.
Rancho Los Alamitos
You may love Rancho Los Alamitos for it’s animals and beautiful grounds. But if you’re getting your kids started on hikes, there are some great paths for them to practice and learn on! There are a variety of different paths for your kids to enjoy. Try what our kids call the “forest” area complete with small waterfalls or carefully walk through the succulent garden complete with giant cactus. And don’t miss the geranium path and the rose garden!
For more information on Rancho Los Alamitos, check out our full review of the Rancho here.
While this might not be your traditional “hike” it’s a great walk – and you can easily cover a surprising amount of ground while enjoying a walk outside. Of course, the most spectacular time of year to walk the canals is during the holidays (the houses go all out with lights and decorations) but it’s a lovely walk any time of year.
This short walk is another one of the more urban walks in the city, but has some amazing views. Starting near the Aquarium of the Pacific, you can take a paved sidewalk or a boardwalk style wooden path over sand to arrive at the landmark lighthouse. Check out the boats in the harbor, view the famous Rainbow Bridge and maybe even catch sight of a seal. We love bringing a snack and sitting on the huge hill (and sometimes the smaller members of the family roll down the hill!) and just relaxing and taking in the beautiful view.
Gum Grove Nature Park
Located just outside of Long Beach in Seal Beach, Gum Grove Park provides a surprising amount of foliage for a beach city. The huge eucalyptus trees will make you forget you’re just behind a neighborhood – and blocks from the beach!
My family loves Gum Grove Park because different family members of different abilities can take seperate paths and end up at the same place. There’s a flat path along the bottom of a large hill, a medium grade path through the middle, and a high path for the most adventurous family members. Everything is so close that I can stay on the low trail with the baby while my older kids adventure on their own – while I can mostly keep an eye on them!