Discover the best hiking books for kids to get them excited about hitting the trail head. We’re sharing picture books about hiking, middle grade novels, and YA books to spark your child’s interest in the outdoors.Read more
One of our favorite ways to get our kids involved and interested in a family trip or adventure is to read about it.
We’ve read dozens of kids hiking books and they’ve always inspired us to get outdoors more or sparked my children’s own imaginations while on the trails.
Below, you’ll find heartwarming stories of families bonding – like in The Hike – on the trails and inspiration tales of children connecting to nature – like in Outside In. Some of our favorite picture books about hiking introduce concepts like environmentalism, leave no trace, and conservation.
Kids can also get curious with hiking alphabet books and real life stories of famous hikers. Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail, for example, will remind us all that you’re never too young or too old to appreciate nature.
You’ll also find middle grade kids hiking books and a few YA titles. Discover gripping tales of survival, emotional stories of solitude in nature, and even a robot “born” into the wild.
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Picture Books About Hiking
Whimsical illustrations and simple, relatable text tell the story of three female explorers who set out to conquer the world on their hike. It’s one of our favorite picture books about hiking for girls who love the outdoors just as much as boys!
A young girl and her family head out on a hike, passing trees, berries, animals, and more of nature’s wonderful offerings. The colorful illustrations depict how spectacular the simple things are through the eyes of the child.
For diverse hiking books for kids, Liu introduces us to an Asian family who head outdoors with their Corgi pup. With rhyming text and fun illustrations, this is a beautifully told adventure story.
A father and son wake up early for a hike. In the mountains, they overcome challenges and experience the magic of nature. This is one of the few picture books about hiking that touch on environmentalism. Plus, we always adore Oswald’s illustrations
For introductory picture books about hiking, Mrs. Peanuckle brings families outdoors, showcasing flowers, animals, landscapes. Our family loves to collect the Mrs. Peanuckle alphabet board books for fun and curious nature inspiration.
A 2021 Caldecott Honor, Outside In‘s illustrations are simple, yet powerful when it comes to the power of nature. One of the more thought provoking hiking books for kids, readers will ponder what it is about the outside that calms us on the inside.
The forest comes alive in one of the most whimsical picture books about hiking and spending time in nature. Sing, shout, collect pinecones, play, run, seek, and listen in nature along with this book about discovery.
Boy and Bear are both prepared for almost anything outdoors. Except each other. When they meet in the woods, they’re both scared at first, until they realize they aren’t too different after all. Plus, exploring is always more fun with a friend.
I love the story of Emma Gatewood: the woman who raised 11 kids and one day ventured out on a hike and ended up completing the Appalachian Trail at 67 years old. Her efforts are largely lauded as being the reason the AT is what it is today. This is one of those picture books about hiking that will inspire children to believe anything is possible.
Anna and her little brother Finn live behind the stone walls of their village. One day, they peek over the ledge and discover what lies ahead: the impossible mountain. In one of my all time favorite picture books about hiking, discover that you’re never too small for big adventure.
Juvenile Fiction and YA Hiking Books for Kids
The Wild Robot is one of the most interesting nature and hiking books for kids that moves beyond simply hiking and into the realm of survival. A robot wakes up to discover she is alone on a wilderness island. Survival is at the hands of nature, until the robot’s past surfaces. Middle grade readers who love hiking and the outdoors will enjoy this series.
Lily refuses to accept that her father – an expert climber – died hiking Denali, the highest peak in North America. So she heads out into the Alaskan wilderness to rescue him. Poignant, heartbreaking, and adventurous, this is one of our absolute favorite hiking books for kids and teens.
A secret sleepover turns into a nightmare situation when twelve year old Maddie wakes up alone in her mysteriously abandoned town. With only a dog as her companion, she learns to survive in the wild on her own. But is the will to survive enough? And what happened to her town?
Winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal, Hello Universe is an incredible story told from four connected viewpoints. When Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil in a well, three others must pool their resources, abilities, and love of nature to put a bully in his place and find the missing Virgil.
One of the most famous nature, survival, and hiking books for kids, Hatchet isn’t to be missed. When a single engine plane crashes, killing the pilot, 13 year old Brian is the sole survivor and must navigate the Canadian wilderness alone. With only his clothing and a hatchet, he learns to build shelter, find food, and, most importantly, to be courageous.
What are some of your favorite juvenile fiction and picture books about hiking?
If we skipped any must read hiking books for kids, please let us know in the comments!
We will update this book list with additional and new release titles as needed.