Hiking games can make any hike more fun for Cub Scouts (or any kids)! Check out these eight hiking activities ideas that are sure to be hits on your next hike.
Hiking games are a great way to get outside with our Scouts. Our pack has a hike every third Sunday. We vary our hiking destination, length, and difficulty so that everyone can participate. We love to put the “outing” in Scouting in a fun way by taking a long walk!
Before you begin your hike, go over the rules for the Cub Scout buddy system to help ensure that you don't lose a kid! 🙂
Sometimes if you tell an elementary school-aged kid that you're going for a long walk, you might hear whining. But tell them you're going on an ABC hike or a scavenger hunt hike or a penny hike, and you just might pique their interest.
Having fun hiking activities for kids can add an element of excitement for both older kids and younger kids. Often, they can be done with few (if any) supplies.
I've compiled a list of different types of hiking activities and games that will spice up your long walk! This list of trail games has been shared over 7,000 times, so I'm sure it'll be helpful to you too!
8 Fun Hiking Activities for Kids (and Adults)
- Scavenger Hunt Hike
- Penny Flip Hike
- Fit on a Penny Hike
- ABC Hike
- Monogram Hike
- Insect Hike
- Sketching or Drawing Hike
- Nature Friends
1. Scavenger Hunt Hike
Make a list of things the Scouts will look for, but these won't be things they'll pick up and take home. They're things they'll experience. List 3 or 4 items in these categories: Smell, Texture, Sound, and Sight.
For example, your Sound category might include a bird chirping and leaves rustling. Smells could be dirt and flowers.
Base your lists on the area you'll be visiting. If I'm hiking on the walking trail in my neighborhood, I could include a running car as one of my sounds.
2. Penny Flip Hike
Flip a penny to decide which direction you'll take on your hike. You might say, “Heads, we'll go toward the
Flip your penny for silly stuff too like, “Heads, we'll sing Yankee Doodle Dandy, and tails, we'll moo like a cow until we get to that rock.”
3. Fit on a Penny Hike
For this hike, walk to a designated spot and give each Scout a penny. They have 5 minutes to find as many things as possible that will fit on the penny.
Remind the Scouts that they should only pick up things that are on the ground. Cub Scouts should always follow Scouting's Outdoor Code.
4. ABC Hike
Pair up the Scouts. They are looking for items that start with each letter of the alphabet. When they find an item that begins with A (acorn, for example), they'll call out the name and begin looking for the next letter.
5. Monogram Hike
Scouts try to find something that begins with each of their initials. The items don't have to be physical–they can be sounds or smells too.
6. Insect Hike
Each Scout should bring a camera. If all of them don't have one, you can pair them up. Tell the Scouts to take as many pictures of different
7. Sketching or Drawing Hike
Bring along paper and pencils or crayons. Hike to a scenic location, and have the Scouts draw what they see.
8. Nature Friends
Each Scout picks up an item from the ground to be their “friend.” As you hike, have each child explain why the item is their friend.
Cub Scout Hiking Requirements
Cub Scouts have requirements or electives for hiking at almost all of the ranks.
- Tiger Adventure – My Tiger Jungle 1: With your parent/guardian or other caring adult (referred to in the handbook as “your adult partner”), go for a walk outside, and pick out two or more sights or sounds of “nature” around you. Discuss with your partner or den.
- Tiger Adventure – My Tiger Jungle 2: Take a 1-foot hike. Make a list of the living things you find on your 1-foot hike.
- Tiger Adventure – Tigers in the Wild 2: Go for a short hike with your den or family, and carry your own gear. Show you know how to get ready for this hike.
- Wolf Adventure – Paws on the Path 5: Go on a 1-mile hike with your den or family. Watch and record two interesting things that you’ve never seen before.
- Wolf Elective Adventure – Finding Your Way 4: Using a map and compass, go on a hike with your den or family.
- Bear Adventure – Fur, Feathers, and Ferns 1: While hiking or walking for one mile, identify six signs that any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, or plants are living nearby the place where you choose to hike.
- Webelos Adventure – Webelos Walkabout 4: With your Webelos den or with a family member, hike 3 miles. Before your hike, plan and prepare a nutritious lunch or snack. Enjoy it on your hike, and clean up afterward.
What fun hiking games have you played with your den or pack? What was your favorite?
Yours in Scouting,