Looking for the perfect starter trail to take your family on in OC? I have you covered! The Dana Point Headlands is the perfect trail to test out your littles ones before starting them out on an epic 4 mile hike.
Getting your kids out on the local trails can be fun, but equally tough because you don’t always know what your littles are going to be able to handle. The Dana Point Headlands trail is the perfect place to test your kids hiking stamina. That was you will know from now on if they can hike longer or tougher trails, or if they unfortunately can’t handle hiking yet.
The Dana Point Headlands Conversation parking area is located at the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center at 34558 Scenic Drive, Dana Point CA 92629. As you can see in the picture below there is plenty of parking available outside of the interpretive center. Before you head out on your hike, take the kids into the Interpretive Center to learn more about the wildlife and flowers they are about to see on their hike. Additionally, there is a great map on the wall that you can show your kids exactly where and how far they will be hiking. I find this a to be a great TIP when hiking with kids, showing them where and how long they will be hiking gives them a greater sense of what they will be doing during the hike. It will help fend off those are we there yet questions or how much longer Mom.
The kids can take pictures next to this adorable elephant and there are also water filling stations at the center as well. Be sure that you have your water container filled up prior to heading out on the trail. There are three different trails that you can check out, ranging from a 1 mile to 2.5 miles. If this is the first hike for your kids, I highly suggest embarking on the 1 mile round trip version to ensure they will make it back without any assistance. The entire mile trail has stunning views of the ocean and the immaculate trail is a sandy walkway. This is not a stroller friendly trail, so the kids will need to walk or be carried.
Their are lots of beautiful places to stop and take pictures, you can even hear the seals down below in the ocean. There are a few benches along the trail as well, if you want to stop and enjoy a snack or two. Just be sure to keep all trash and leave the trail the same way you found it. Currently the trail is only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8am to 3pm, so be sure to plan accordingly. Lastly, on the 4th Saturday of every month from 10am to noon you can enjoy self-guided activities along the trail and end with an art project at the Interpretive Center.