Best Hiking Books for Toddlers



Oct 14, 2022

Books are magical. They fire up a child’s imagination and pull them away into another world.  Books can help introduce new concepts to toddlers and demonstrate new behaviors.  If your toddler loves to go hiking or you want to introduce the love of hiking then books about hiking are perfect. 

My 3 kids love being read to. Being an outdoor enthusiast myself I enjoy books about outside adventure. I have scoured the libraries and book stores to find the best hiking books for toddlers. These books are great conversation starters for my toddlers on hiking.

best books about hiking for toddlers

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mommas.

What are the Benefits of Reading to a Toddler?

Reading is one of the best things you can do for your toddler and your toddler’s development. It doesn’t just provide closeness as you snuggle in together to read, but much more. According to Kids Health additional benefits of reading to toddlers are: 

  • Improves vocabulary
  • Introduces the concept that words are made up of smaller sounds
  • Familiarizes them with letters and words 
  • Provides a method for toddlers to learn about the world
  • Strengthens concepts toddlers are learning (shapes, numbers, etc.)
  • Relates stories to things occurring in a toddler’s life (emotions, going to preschool, etc.)
  • Strengthens your bond with your child

Can a Toddler go on a Hike?

Of course! Hiking with a Toddler is a great activity to do outside. I suggest investing in a hiking backpack for Mom or Dad so when your toddler needs a rest or the trail becomes difficult you can carry them.

toddlers can hike photo
My 2 and 4 year old on an autumn hike in the Catskills

Before going on a hike with a toddler make sure your expectations are in line. You will not be able to go as far as you normally would as your toddler will want to hike at least a part of the way.  Pick your trails with your child in mind (if there is water along the trail that will be an added bonus).  

There are always important things to take on a hike with a toddler besides a hiking backpack.

The Items I take on all my Hikes with Toddlers are

  • Portable Diaper Pad
  • Wipes
  • Diapers
  • Small first aid kit
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Change of clothes for the car

Check out Toddler Hiking Gear for more information.

What Should a Toddler Wear on a Hike?

Dressing your toddler right for hiking is essential. When toddlers get cold or wet they can be cranky, just like adults. Making sure your toddler will stay dry and warm is critical for hiking success.

how to dress a toddler for a hike

I love trail hiking pants for my toddlers. My favorite pair are Oaki Trail and Hike pants. These pants are waterproof and can go on overtop their normal clothes. When they are wearing them I do not worry about them splashing in mud, sitting in puddles or brushing up against the foliage. They are protected!

In warmer months of the year a good pair of hiking sandals goes a long way. Both my boys and myself have Keen hiking sandals. The sandals are comfortable, durable and great in water. My toddlers can walk through the creek beds and rivers and the sandals provide them stability and protection.

How to get a Toddler to Enjoy Hiking?

Reading is a great start, and hiking books for toddlers are golden. Luckily there are many other things you can do as well to get your toddler excited about hiking. 

One method is through example. If you incorporate hiking into your family lifestyle then your child will get on board. Toddlers like routine and if they know they get to go on hikes often they will anticipate the next hike!

Bring family members and friends. Toddlers love having their "favorite people" around and will love taking their "grandma" on a hike.

Bring a toddler camera and let them document their hike. Or binoculars to find animals, birds or insects along the way.

how to get a toddler to enjoy hiking photo
My 2 year old out exploring in the Catskills

Read my 15 Tips to get your Toddler to Enjoy Hiking to get the complete list.

15 Best Books About Hiking for Toddlers

Goodnight Mountains - Mark Jasper and Adam Gamble

Best For: 1+

This board book is a simple goodnight story. The book takes you through a day starting in the morning and ending at night time. It covers many different mountain ranges and what you will typically find there.

Goodnight Mountains’ shows a toddler many different activities that happen in the mountains including hiking. It introduces the concept that each mountain is unique and there are different mountain sports to do.  

I love to bring this book to any mountain vacation my family and I go on. It is a sweet book to end the day before bed.

All Aboard!  National Parks: A Wildlife Primer - Haily and Kevin Meyers

Best For: 1+

This board book is a great celebration of some of the National Parks. The book takes you through several different parks and focuses on the wildlife in each park..

All Aboard! National Parks: A Wildlife Primer’ is a book your toddler will ask to read again and again, mine do. It can help a toddler understand that there are many national parks and each one is unique with its own wildlife. After reading the book ask which park your toddler wants to visit!

This book is also great once you start visiting some of the parks. The parks included are some of the more famous ones and my husband and I have taken our kids to a few of them. My oldest (4 years) remembers being at several of the parks which makes the book even more special to him.

Baby Bear Sees Blue - Ashley Wolff

Best for 1+

This board book is about a momma bear and her baby bear. The baby bear explores outside on a hike. The book takes you through different things you would encounter on a hike, such as trees, butterflies, and berries. The baby bear inquires about the different objects he sees and momma bear helps identify them. We then learn the color of the objects.

Baby Bear Sees Blue’ is a great book to learn more about nature and reinforce color with your toddler. The repetitive style of the book is ideal for a toddler and helps them interact with it.

Smithsonian Kids: A Walk in the Forest - Lisa Manuzak

Best for 1+

This fun spinnable board book teaches toddlers about plants and wildlife in the forest. Spin the wheel and the animals change on the page!

A Walk in the Forest’ has lots of great facts about the forest. It spikes a toddlers' curiosity about what they can find on a hike in the forest. For the younger toddler it is fun to spin the wheel and as your toddler gets older he/she can start comprehending all the fun facts.

I Love the Mountains - Haily Meyers

Best for 1+

This book is meant to be sung. It is a sweet song about the joys of nature and what one loves about being outside. This book has a catchy tune and I recommend first listening on youtube to get the flow of the song.

I Love the Mountains’ is a fun book and the pictures help illustrate the beauty of the outdoors. This story isn’t about hiking, but can be applied to a hike or sung while on a hike.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt - Michael Rosen

Best for 1+

This book is a classic. A family of 5 set off on a bear hunt or a long day of hiking with their dog. The book is repetitive and in no time your toddler will be able to read the book with you!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ takes the reader through different circumstances you might find yourself in on a hike, such as rain, mud, or a river crossing. The book does a great job demonstrating what it looks like to hike through these different scenarios.

Your toddler and you will love this story and find yourself repeating it even when you're not reading the book! My family loves to sing it as we are on a family hike. Its a classic for a reason.

Hiking Day - Anne Rockwell

Best for 2+

This book is a charming story of a girl and her parents who take a hike that overlooks their town. It starts with preparing for the hike and driving to the trail head. The book is set in autumn and filled with gorgeous autumn colors.

Hiking Day’ characters follow a trail to the summit. The family must search for the trail blazes to ensure they aren’t lost. My toddlers love to find the blazes on the trees and immediately recognize this in the book. 

The book is great at promoting autumn hiking. The story is simple but provides great realistic information on what to expect on a day out hiking.

Let’s go on a hike! - Katerina Liu

Best for 2+

This book tells a story of a boy, his dog and his parents going on an all day hike. The author does a great job with the flow of the book with rhymes. The pictures are bright and grab your attention. 

Let’s Go on a Hike’ does a great job showcasing different things you might encounter on a hike, such as wildlife, rivers and animals. It will bring out the inner explorer of your toddler and have them asking to bring their binoculars for their next hike. 

Sheep take a hike - Nancy Shaw

Best for 2+

This story comes from one of my other favorite books, ‘Sheep on a Jeep’. In the same form the book is concise, comical and rhyming, making it an easy read. The sheep set out on a hike but encounter many problems they must overcome which they do.

Sheep Take a Hike’ is a fun book with a simple story. Your toddler will laugh at the sheep and how silly they are.  It is a winner, especially if they enjoy ‘Sheep on a Jeep’.

Adventure to the Top of the Mountain - Nataliya Moon

Best for 2+

A sweet story inspired from a mom’s own experience hiking with her daughter Zoey. The author hopes the book encourages others to hike with their children.

Adventure to the top of the Mountain’ starts out camping and when the mom and girl wake up they go on the hike up the mountain. Throughout the hike they encounter nature, waterfall, flowers, other hikers and more. The story portrays hiking in the real world and is a great book to add to your library to get toddlers excited and interested in hiking.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg - D. Johnson

Best for 3+

This story is a tale of two bears.  One bear, Henry, decides to hike to Fitchburg while his friend wants to take the train. However, his friend doesn’t have money to buy a ticket. He works to gain the fare while Henry is off hiking.   

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg’ does a great job showing the fun you can have on a long hike. Taking the slow way has so much to offer and showcases the land between your start and destination.

This book does a brilliant job on demonstrating the point that the long way is worth it. Your toddler will love this book and may have new ideas of fun activities to do while hiking, such as pressing flowers.

The Hike - Alison Ferrel

Best For: 3+

This book is a sweet story of three girl friends who are going on a hike with their dog. The story is more realistic of a whole day hiking with some complications that occur, such as getting lost on the trail. 

The story is geared for an older toddler and shows some fun things to do on a hike. You can identify the birds, look for animal prints and find wild berries. The three girl’s different personalities shine through in this book, but all types like to hike. 

The Hike’ is a charming story of a bunch of friends spending the day together. My 2 year old gets a bit lost, but my 4 year old enjoys it!

Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail - Jennifer Thermes

Best for 4+

This book is geared towards the older toddler or preschooler and a great hiking book for toddlers. It is the journey of a grandma who hikes the whole Appalachian trail after she discovers no woman has ever accomplished it. It provides lots of facts about the Appalachian trail and goes through the states and terrain of the journey.

Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail’ is a great story for the more curious child who already enjoys hiking. It is a great way to explain how hiking can be a multi-day or month-long journey. Perhaps set a primer that they might go on day long hikes.

This is the longest book in my list, but I love setting the scene where a person can hike long distances no matter their age.

Hope this inspired you to get a great hiking book for toddlers and start reading today!