Here’s Where You Can Take Your Kids to a Hike this Year

Last year, I had the opportunity to hike with friends to Mt. Espadang Bato in Rizal. It was such an arduous trek, starting just before sunrise and reaching the summit after four hours. The view at the peak was rewarding and worth all the exhaustion! Despite such an assaulting trek and the ache in my legs, I still kept admiring the different flora and fauna around: patches of colorful flowers, vegetable greens and sprouts, and even the humble makahiya (which I can’t seem to find anymore in the city!) There were also butterflies flying around!

I kept thinking about my little one and how much she would enjoy being immersed in an environment like that. Because of this, I asked our guide what’s the youngest age they allow to hike in that particular mountain. I was surprised when he said infants! While I’m not really confident to take my toddler up Mt. Espadang Bato, that recent experience inspired me to try and bring her hiking the next time.

Just note that hiking spots can be subjective. What can be called a beginner trail for some might be too difficult for others. Make sure to follow your best judgment on your and your kids’ comfort level. The goal is to have fun while being safe and secure along the way.

Here are some places you can visit with your adventurous kids:

Here's Where You Can Take Your Kids to a Hike This Year

Mt. Manabu, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

Elevation: 760 MASL
Trail Class: 1-2
Jump-off point: Sulok, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

Photo courtesy of Batangas Republic on Facebook

Mt. Manabu is considered a beginner-friendly hike. Its peak also gives a great vantage point of Batangas’ mountain ranges. What’s good about Mt. Manabu is that it has several stations and plenty of resting areas. It’s also great for kids because of its dense foliage, which keeps the trail cool, but it can get muddy and slippery during the wet season, so plan trips accordingly.

Mt. Balagbag, Rodriguez, Rizal

Elevation: 777 MASL
Trail Class: 1-2
Jump-off point: Sitio Balagbag, Barangay San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal

Photo courtesy of Municipal Government of Montalban

This particular mountain belongs to the Sierra Madre mountain range, the longest mountain range in the Philippines. Despite this, Mt. Balagbag’s summit offers a view of Metro Manila and can be accessed quite quickly from NCR. It’s a good place to hike because of its wide trails, and previous hikers have noted that the trail is of asphalt and sand. The difference between this particular hiking spot and Mt. Balagbag is that doesn’t have a dense foliage, so try to go early to avoid the harsh rays of the sun.

Mt. Pinatubo, Capas, Tarlac

Elevation: 960 MASL
Trail class: 1
Jump-off point: Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac

Photo courtesy of Trekking Pinatubo

Mt. Pinatubo is widely known for the devastating volcanic eruption in the early 90s, but nowadays the active volcano is also known as one of the most beautiful hiking spots in the country. Hikers start the adventure by riding a 4×4 to reach the jump-off point to the crater. Expect to encounter different types of terrain, including lahar. To make it easier for families to visit, there are a number of operators who offer tour packages to Pinatubo.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy, Mabini, Batangas

Elevation: 525 MASL
Trail class: 1-2
Jump-off point: Barangay Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

Photo courtesy of Pinoy Mountaineer

Mt. Gulugod Baboy was named because its rolling hills resembled that of a pig’s spine. It’s one of the perfect hiking spots for kids since there are trail options to choose from and can be climbed in less than an hour. The trail is mostly made up of grasslands, so it’s not as extreme as other mountains, and can be a great place for kids to really revel in nature.

La Mesa Nature Reserve, Quirino Highway, Quezon City

Elevation: N/A
Trail class: 1
Jump-off point: La Mesa Nature Reserve, Quirino Highway

Photo courtesy of La Mesa Nature Reserve on Facebook

Families don’t even have to go far from the metro to go hiking; the La Mesa Nature Reserve has a forest just in the heart of Quezon City! Not to be mistaken with the La Mesa Ecopark, the reserve has easy to navigate trails and offers a view of the water reservoir, which is the water source of most people in Manila. If you’re interested in visiting, make sure to call and make a reservation first.

Have you gone hiking with your kids? Maybe you can share other hiking spots you know of within the Philippines!

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