March 15, 2022Mary Pust
Billings may not be in the mountains but we have a number of great hikes for kids within city limits. Pack some snacks and get ready to explore the area without driving an hour away.
My name is Mary. I am mother to 2 children (4 & 2) and we are getting to the point where carrying them isn't an option anymore. They want to walk! That means, we want a hike that's worth it, but also easy enough for everyone. This is a list of our top 5 hiking spots with the boys!
#1 - John H Dover Park "Bridges Park". This park is nestled in the northeastern corner of town all the way past Mary Street in the heights. There are a number of different trails to take so you can pick your distance. You can go all the way down to the river, hike up and see over the hills or run around and find all the suspended bridges. We LOVE this park but we also want you to be aware there are plenty of SNAKES! We do not hike here in the summer. Fall and Spring are best.
#2 - Riverfront Park. This park is on the southern side of town. Our favorite part are all the ducks and geese that live around the pond. You can bring your littles ones and fish there as well. These trails will take you all the way down to the Yellowstone river and connect with Norm's Island (another favorite). We recommend using a jogging stroller or carrier because the trails are not paved. This park is great all year round and dog friendly... sometimes too dog friendly (at least on the norms side).
#3 - Phipps Park. This park is located on the FAR western side of town all the way out passed 62nd. This is also a fun frisbee golf park, just know the grass gets tall and snakes eventually come out. When you stay on the trails you are safe, just be cautious around all the rocks. There is a giant hill that takes you up the butte to overlook the area. Again, nothing is paved so bring your carriers or prepare to take a few breaks along the way.
#4 - Zimmerman Trail. Nestled on the top of the rims, Zimmerman is a local favorite. The "trails" wind around and you can get a close and personal look at the cliffs. The boys love all the overlooks and enjoy going UP & DOWN. This trail is used by a lot of mountain bikers, so be courteous to those around you. The park also gets full of SNAKES around the summer months. Just be cautious and watch your step.
#5 - Shiloh Conservation Area. This trail is located across the street from Scheels. This is a paved trail so any and all strollers/bikes will work great here. There are a number of signs around to teach the kids about local birds, fish, plants, etc. This is a great park all year round and helps get the jitters out when you don't want to do a full on "hike".