When we trek for the first time, we wonder why we took so much time to turn to this amazing thing in life. We go on a few more treks and realise that we should have started trekking as children, just so that we trek a little more in one lifetime and explore the farthest depths of the numerous mountains. Well, we surely can’t go back in time, but can ensure that our kids don’t feel the same.
As opposed to general perception, trekking is something that can be easily done by kids. After all, not every terrain in this country is difficult to trek on. There are a quite a few treks in Indiathat are no more than easy walks amidst nature, and thus make for the perfect treks to begin with for the kids.
Needless to mention, the impact of trekking on children is amazing. Apart from learning the art of bonding, making new friends and a sport that has no parallel, kids can experience a major boost in their confidence levels and often take lessons on how to take care of their own chores.
Duration: 6 days
Season: Winter, Spring, Autumn
Although a six-day long trek, the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek is among the first treks that you should take your kid to. Not only is the trek easy to complete and least likely to tire them out, it also offers enough opportunities for the kids to learn a lot from nature. The all-season trek takes one through beautiful dense forests that are filled with numerous species of birds, thus giving children enough scope to gather information about both the floral and avifaunal species of the region. Besides, the trail leads one through the most stunning meadows and takes you to the Chandrashila summit, from where some of the tallest mountains in the country are visible.
Duration: 2 days
Season: September to February
Tadiandamol, at altitude of 5,740 ft, is the highest peak in Coorg, and the third highest peak in the state of Karnataka. But that doesn’t make it a difficult trek to complete. Although an easy one to accomplish, the Tadiandamol trek is slightly exhausting. That’s the very reason, the duration of this trek should be increased from just one day to three days, especially when you are taking kids along on this trail.
This beginner-friendly trail takes you through the vast expanse of the Shola forests, numerous lush green grasslands and streams, thus making for perfect settings for a fairy tale-like setting for kids. The best time to reach the peak is sunrise so that the kids can enjoy a stunning dawn and watch the first light of the Sun falling across the beautiful valley, which is filled with several coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations.
Duration: 6 days
Season: Winter and summer
More of a winter trek, this is perfect for kids who get excited at the first sight of snow. More so, because a lot of campsites on this trek are on snowfields and promise an amazing camping experience for kids. Although it sounds fun, camping on snow also requires some amount of discipline and efforts including the collection of dead wood for fire, learning to cook, and learning to survive in cold conditions. Camping in such conditions can offer essential life teachings to the kids.
Added to all this is the sense of accomplishment for a child on this trek, especially while summitting the Kedarkantha Peak. Besides, the forest floor has plenty of pine cones lying around, thus making for great collectibles to take back home for the kids.
Har ki Dun
Duration: 8 days
Season: Winter, Spring, Autumn
A lot of trekkers don’t know that the Har ki Dun trek was discovered by Jack Gibson, who was a British mountaineer and teacher at the Doon School. After falling in love with this trail, he used to take his students on this trek for field trips. There are quite a few reasons why this trek is bound to be interesting for children. The trail goes through quaint mountain hamlets and past the gurgling Supin river, thus allowing kids to enjoy the charms of simple rural life and at the same time, enjoy the beauty of nature.
Har ki Dun is one of the treks that can be perfect as the first trek of your child. Right from introducing the kid to cultural diversity to bringing him the closest encounters of nature’s many wonders, this trek has every good thing that a trek should have for children. The Har ki Dun trek route is believed to be the same trail that the Pandavas took to ascend to heaven!
Duration: 4 days
Season: Summer and Autumn
If you want your kid to have all the experience of a full-fledged Himalayan trek in a nutshell, the trek to Bhrigu Lake is the one you should take him to. In fact, it is not a bad idea at all to ditch the rather touristy town of Manali and instead trek ahead to Bhrigu Lake for a much better experience of the region’s mountains.
Some of the priceless experiences that the kids can experience on this trek include long stretches of walks on beautiful grasslands with horses grazing on them, apple orchards of Kullu, and unparalleled vistas of Lahaul, Pir Panjal and the Dhauladhar mountain ranges from Bhrigu Lake. Keep in mind that among all the treks mentioned here, the Bhrigu Lake trek takes you to the highest altitude of 14,000 ft, but completing this climb will teach your children to take up challenges, push their limits and imbibe within them the spirit of working hard towards achieving something.