The UC Davis Arboretum is always a sure thing when it comes to appeasing the masses – you can even bring the dog (on a leash)! While you can potentially walk 3+ miles around the arboretum, it’s relatively flat and there is plenty to take in and enjoy. We recommend printing out this map before heading out. Make sure to understand when and where to park (some parking areas have a fee).
Why we love it: It’s a relatively stress-free hike for all. Grandparents can stroll along with the little guys or enjoy a scenic view from a bench while everyone else explores. If you feel like getting off the path at any time, there are multiple easy-to-find paths up to the street and plenty of bridges to cross over and loop back for a shorter walk. We love all the many, many varieties of trees and plants we learned about along the way.
For the Young Ones (ages 0-10): Most of this “hike” is a relatively simple walk that is mostly paved. While there are parts of it that a regular stroller wouldn’t be ideal on, most of the paths are fine for a regular stroller.There are a couple of spots with cactus (watch the kiddos around the trail marker area aka “stacks of rocks”), but the winding trail is otherwise easy and safe for little feet. The little ones will find plenty of brightly colored flowers, ducks, and squirrels to keep them captivated.
For the Big Kids (10+): Some older kids may deem this trail “boring,” since there are no cliffs, waterfalls, or huge inclines, but there’s plenty of opportunity for them to learn about the different trees and plants. The name plates for many of the plants also have what area of the world the species can be found in – perhaps a lesson in geography?
Keep In Mind:
- There are various places to park to get to the path, but some parking areas have fees. Make sure you understand before leaving your car.
- This trail is popular with runners, so be on the lookout. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about “sharing the trail.”
Around the Area:
If you’ve come out on a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening, check out the Davis Farmer’s Market. Our kiddos are up early, so on a Saturday morning we’ll explore the UC Davis Arboretum and then head for the market, which opens at 8am!
Difficulty Level: Beginner. Easy peasy!