Fall is fantastic for hiking. If you’re looking for an ideal destination for the whole family, the best people to ask are moms and dads with kids who love to hike. That’s what a cadre of travel journalists did recently.

Here are some of the top family and kid-friendly hiking destinations in the nation.

Upper Gorge Trail

Located in the Robert H. Treman Park of Ithaca, New York, one mom described the environs of this lovely park as “something like out of the Lord of the Rings.” Here you will find spectacular trails that feature rising steps carved out of rock that climb to lovely heights but are gentle enough for children to handle. Beautiful trails wind through gorges where one confronts waterfalls that have unique swimming spots at their bottoms.

The Narrows

In Utah’s Zion National Park, people enjoy a hike that involves walking right in the water of the Virgin River. Yes, that sounds like a greater challenge than walking a traditional hiking trail, but older children aged 11 and up may find the Virgin River trek the most fun they’ve had in nature. Visitors generally start at the Temple of Sinawava and then head upstream. Many families call “hiking the narrows” the most memorable nature walk of their lives. It’s a lot of water-splashing fun, and the surrounding canyons are inspirational.

Stanbery Park

Sometimes the best hikes for small kids are not in mountains, deserts, or canyon trails but well-groomed city parks. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Stanbery Park offers 125 acres of easy paved walkways that wind through serene tree-bordered environments. There are creeks to splash in and endless grassy areas to explore. A bonus is that this venue is usually not crowded. That’s why Stanbery is sometimes called “Cincinnati’s best-kept secret.”

Wissahickon Valley Park

Another “urban hiking” destination, Wissahickon, is located in Philadelphia. It may be smack in the center of a metropolis, but here you will find 57 miles of trails penetrated through forest lands and meadows. It’s an easy walk for kids and parents alike. The joy of this oasis of natural serenity is the balance it provides to the clamor of city life. It’s like a balm for the soul.

Lily Trail Marsh

Now we head off to Ponderosa Park in Idaho, where you will find a kid-friendly trail that leads one through a forested area punctuated by exotic bog marshes. The trail ends at lovely Payette Lake. It is somewhat challenging for children, but they don’t seem to mind –- and one reason for that can be the huckleberries. Checking out the bushes along the way can reward the nature explorer with a treat of luscious berries for a delicious trailside snack.