Family Friendly Hikes in Portsmouth and Nearby


There is still plenty of time for some family summer outings. Portsmouth and the surrounding Seacoast have some great trails that are kid-friendly. Here are some of the treasured family friendly hikes in Portsmouth and nearby.  

Urban Forestry Center 

45 Elwyn Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Nestled in the woods of Portsmouth, this trail system feels anything but “urban”. The well marked trails managed by the New Hampshire of Division of Forests and Lands are kid-friendly, dog-friendly, and a perfect outing for the whole family. The Brooks Trail travels along Sagamore Creek with marsh and forest views. This is an easy nature walk and accessible year round. It is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. Bring lunch and enjoy the picnic tables after!

Urban Forestry Center
Urban Forestry Center trails

Odiorne Point State Park

570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870

Many families are familiar with Odiorne Point State park for its awesome tidepooling, historic fort, amazing playground, and access to the Seacoast Science Center. What you might not be as familiar with is the extensive trail system. Take a hike on the 3 mile perimeter through forest, along the beach, and past historic monuments. Download the ebook Seacoast Hikes and Nature Walks for a detailed trail description to keep you on track. 

You'll see sandy and rocky beach on the trails of Odirone Point
You’ll see sandy and rocky beach on the trails of Odiorne Point

Great Bay Discovery Center Boardwalk Loop

89 Depot Rd, Greenland, NH 03840

Take this stroller friendly 0.7 mile loop trail through marsh, forest, and past attractions that your kids will love. The Great Bay Discovery Center and boardwalk loop is the perfect little summer excursion. In summer, the center is open to the public from 10 am through 4 pm on Wednesdays through Sundays. It offers small, interactive exhibits inside. The real treasures of this spot are in the outdoors. From the climbable play boats along the trail, to the traditional wigwam replica, to the marsh view platform – this location has it all. After taking this trail, enjoy the naturescape playground (one of our favorites) and a picnic at the covered area. For more information about this trail, download the ebook Seacoast Hikes and Nature Walks.

Kids love Great Bay Discovery Center Boardwalk Loop
Kids love Great Bay Discovery Center Boardwalk Loop

Wiggly Bridge and Steedman Woods

57 Barrell Ln, York, ME 03909

Your kids will love crossing the marsh on the world’s smallest suspension bridge to take on this one mile loop hike just over the river in York, Maine. This easy trail is a little too rooty to be considered stroller friendly, but the easy path is manageable for little legs and a family walk. The hike meanders through forest with views of marsh, boats, and an adorable bridge. Parking is tricky – with only a precious couple spots for out-of-towners so going on weekdays and/or early is your best bet. See the route of this hike on AllTrails.

Wiggly Bridge
Wiggly Bridge is charming and sweet for the whole family

Peverly Pond Loop 

Arboretum Drive, Newington, New Hampshire

This wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly loop hike near Portsmouth is 0.4 miles in the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The family will enjoy the unique boardwalk trail, peaceful forest, and wildlife viewing station. There’s plenty of free parking and a bathroom at the trailhead. Learn more about this trail from my blog. One thing to note about this trail is that dogs are not allowed. 

Peverly Pond Loop
Peverly Pond Loop is wheelchair and stroller friendly

Little Harbor Loop 

 375 Little Harbor Rd, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Park at the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion and walk the 1.5 mile trail through forest, creek, and a historic home right in Portsmouth. This trail system is co-managed by New Hampshire State Parks and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. If you’re not up for the full hike, take your littles a half mile to the viewpoint. Here, you can find snails at low tide and enjoy some quintessential Seacoast views. The rolling hills and narrow trail make it a poor choice for a stroller but still manageable for young kids. For a detailed trail description, download the ebook Seacoast Hikes and Nature Walks to your phone.

wentworth coolidge mansion
Little Harbor Loop trail leaves from the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth

Portsmouth – Plenty of Trails in a Urban Setting

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is well known for great restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and town atmosphere. Still, it has a lot to offer for nature lovers and wildlife viewers. Take the time to explore some of these great family friendly hikes in Portsmouth and nearby. You will be glad you did!