After my recent discovery of an awesome new hiking book, Take a Hike with your Children from Tots to Tweens in the Canadian Rockies, I couldn’t wait to take our family for our first official hike. On a lazy Sunday afternoon we decided to hike to Troll Falls in Kananaskis. It is one of the recommeneded hikes for young kids in the book and is a quick drive from Calgary. The trail is a nice and wide flat path to a beautiful waterfall. My husband, a quintessential mountain man from northern BC, scoffed at my copious preparation for this ridiculously short hike we were about to embark on. It is a 3.2 km hike round trip and the snacks, drinks, sunscreen and a change of clothes for the kids seemed a little over the top to him for such a short distance. I reminded him he has never been on a hike with two small kids before.
My kids are city kids and have not had a lot of experience out and about in nature. They adored it (as most kids do) and stopped to stare, admire, and drink in (not literally) all the nature they could. We didn’t want to hurry them so we had a very nice long hike over a very short distance to the falls and back.
Looking at bugs, running away from mom and dad, squishing mud in boots, jumping over rocks, and staring up at the trees are all part of the fun for little ones going on a hike.
On the way to the Troll Falls, we came across a little bridge. Of course it only makes sense there would be a grumpy old troll living under that bridge so the kids searched both sides trying to see if they could find that troll.
We finally arrived at the waterfall. We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, including the morning of our hike so the water levels were quite high and the waterfall was spectacular.
On our way back from the waterfall, we took some time to enjoy the gorgeous mountain views. The kids did a little more puddle jumping and our tired little girl took a rest on her daddy’s shoulders.
Whether you are a seasoned hiker, or a newbie like me, Troll Falls is a great way to spend a day in the outdoors with your kids. Not only did I survive it, I really enjoyed it and so did my family.
To get to Troll Falls, take Highway 1 to Highway 40 south to the Kananaskis Village/Nakiska Ski Hill turn-off. Turn right into the Stoney Trail Head parking lot. You will see the trail sign on the left past the metal gate.
For more great hikes for kids, be sure to pick up a copy of Take a Hike with Your Children. The book features 46 hikes under 5kms in Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore and Kananaskis.