Book Now
Browse Lodging Options
Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California
HOME
GROUPS
MEDIA
FILM
BLOG
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle

10 Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in Redding, CA

By Redding CVB | 08/02/2019 | Caves, Family Friendly , Fun and Free, Great Outdoors, Lakes, Paddling, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Trails

Tucked away at the top of California in the Shasta-Cascade region, Redding is a great spot to take your kids for an outdoor family adventure. Parents will find lakes, rivers, hiking trails, culture, and gold-mining history a-plenty—all ready to be enjoyed by the whole family. Here are 10 of the best family-friendly outdoor activities not to be missed:

1. Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Enjoy Turtle Bay Exploration Park's freshwater aquarium. (Turtle Bay Exploration Park)

This sprawling indoor and outdoor park adjacent to Redding’s iconic Sundial Bridge is home to natural history and science museums, botanical gardens, live-animal exhibits, butterfly gardens, and walking trails. Young kids will find playgrounds and interactive exhibits, and older kids will love the miles of trail. Visit the aquarium with fish from the Sacramento River and exhibits that explain the area’s rich mining history. Another favorite with kids is the river lab, which offers hands-on displays about watersheds and the nearby Shasta Dam.

2. Lake Shasta Caverns


For a final family adventure, Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark offers geological tours daily in summer. This natural cavern system is located near Shasta Lake, and the excitement starts with a boat ride across the lake to access the caves. Allow for at least two hours (the tour is one hour, plus a short but fun catamaran ride across Shasta Lake and quick bus ride). There’s a playground on-site, too, so bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds after your tour.

3. Visit Burney Falls

2PsVNZmAzit0sizVkEMjyt
The majestic Burney Falls flows all summer long, offering one of the most impressive sights in the region. jlmaxw

Northern California is filled with memorable waterfalls, but one of the best (and most family-friendly) is Burney Falls, which is located in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, about an hour-and-twenty-minute drive northeast from Redding. Unlike many falls which are created from snowmelt, the 129-foot Burney Falls is sourced by underground springs, so it runs at close to full capacity most of the year. Just a few steps away from the parking area is Lookout Point for the best view of the falls, but there are additional trails to the pool at the base of the falls and along the creek. The famed Pacific Crest Trail also runs through the park if you want to spend some time on one of the country’s most notable long-distance hiking paths. Nearby Lake Britton is also a favorite spot for boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

4. Hiking Trails


Redding is located near the stunning Mt. Shasta, so it’s no wonder this is a hiking mecca. If you don’t want to venture far out of town, head to the Lema Ranch Trails, which offer paved paths through an old farm, ponds, and a persimmon grove. The Sacramento River National Recreation Trail stretches 17.4 miles from the Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam, and the winding trail is perfect for a bike ride or casual walk. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the river, and parks, bathrooms, and other conveniences along the way make this an excellent option for those with younger kids. For something more challenging (best for older kids), the Lower Sacramento Ditch Trail and Hornbeck Trail provide a 5.5-mile loop along an abandoned narrow-gauge railroad. Riding bikes? The Middle Creek Trail is another paved rail-trail that follows the Sacramento River.

5. Water Activities on Whiskeytown Lake and Shasta Lake


Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is only about 20 minutes from Redding and offers both lake access and miles of trails with creeks and waterfalls. An easy place to start is the Shasta Divide Nature Trail, which is short and great for all members of the family. The .4-mile trail starts at the Visitor Center parking and brings you right down to the shores of the lake. There are a variety of other longer, moderate to difficult hikes as well if your crew is looking to try something more challenging.

You can also check out historic buildings and mining artifacts at Tower House Historic District, which is in the northwest section of the park and accessed via Highway 299. It features the homestead and mining claim of pioneering friends Charles Camden and Levi Tower. You can tour their orchards, Tower’s gravesite, the El Dorado Mine (on the Mill Creek Trail), and the hotel and homestead. Shasta Lake is a slightly longer drive (but still under 35 minutes) and offers houseboating, water sports, and swimming. Families have their pick of marinas and swimming beaches. You can also rent boats, kayaks, or paddleboards by the day or hour.

6. Shasta State Historic Park

4GxRTB68eHu1mJPssNHguQ
See the remains of a gold-rush-era mining town on a trip to Shasta State Historic Park. Tom Hilton

Located just six miles west of Redding (on the way to Whiskeytown), Shasta State Historic Park features the remains of the brick buildings that made up Shasta City, a mining town that had a rather notorious reputation during the wild-west days. These ruins and cemeteries in the area are all reminders of the California gold rush and how it thrived in the state’s northern mining district. The main attraction is the county courthouse, which has been restored to its 1861 glory, but families can wander around many of the old buildings. Note: The museum is opened Thursday through Sundays.

7. McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Located in the heart of Redding on Sundial Bridge Drive, the arboretum and gardens are part of Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It makes sense for families to pair these outings together, adding a picnic lunch to the mix. The gardens boast 20 acres of Mediterranean-climate display gardens, a children’s garden, a medicinal garden, and two beautiful and unique water features, with the arboretum adding another 200 acres with direct access to the Sacramento River Trail.

8. Historic Hawes Farm


Photo courtesy of Historic Hawes Farms.

Very popular in the fall harvest season, Hawes Farm just a few miles away in nearby Anderson, California, offers old-fashioned family fun with a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, zipline, haunted tours for Halloween, and more. It’s open from September through Halloween.

9. Waterworks Park


Redding’s outdoor water park draws visitors from all over the northern end of the state and Southern Oregon, with a wave pool, lazy river, water slides for all ages and abilities, and a kids’ area. Families can rent cabanas for the day, which offer a nice space to relax during a long day outside.

10. Enterprise Park


The updated Kids Kingdom in Enterprise Park in Redding, CA. (Record Searchlight)

This large city park spans several city blocks in Redding, with green spaces, playgrounds, and barbecue pits. The highlight for families may be Kid’s Kingdom, a modernized play structure fun for all ages. You’ll find a fun splash/water feature with a concrete rocky mountain, sprinkler archways, and a padded floor surface, and lots of mature trees to climb.

Written by Amy Whitley for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

8 Natural Wonders to Explore Around Redding, CA
Situated near the junction of several natural provinces—the Klamath Mountains, the Coast Ranges, the Cascade Range, the Great Basin, and the Central Valley—Redding, California, makes an awesome jumping-off point for nature enthusiasts.
READ MORE
An Insider's Guide to Year-Round Adventures On and Around Shasta Lake
Sitting less than 30 minutes from the heart of Redding, Shasta Lake is a gem of northern California. No matter the season, here’s an insider’s guide to year-round adventure on the water.
READ MORE
10 Redding Adventures to Enjoy in the Fall
Known for its proximity to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park, Redding has easily accessible recreation opportunities that include a river running through town, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, and a thriving fly-fishing community.
READ MORE
Exploring the Wonders of Lassen Volcanic National Park
Less than an hour’s drive from Redding, Lassen Volcanic National Park features the 10,457-foot-tall Lassen Peak, but that’s only one (magnificent) attraction of many here.
READ MORE
5 Stellar Trail to Ale Pairings In and Around Redding, CA
So as you plot your next outdoor adventure, here are five top picks for trail-to-tavern pairings in and around the heart of Shasta County, California.
READ MORE
Make sure to explore these 9 Famously Redding icons on your trip to Redding
We know how traveling to another city can be overwhelming. What is there to see? What should you see? Where to go? All questions that race through your mind when traveling. To help you out, the Visit Redding team put…
READ MORE
Take the Redding Adventure Challenge
Let's break away from the norm and try a new adventure. Or how about 14? With the Adventure Challenge -- Redding edition, we'll do all of the work for you on coming up with an adventure. All you have to…
READ MORE
Your Guide to the Best Kayaking in Redding, CA
You’ll find a wide variety of kayaking opportunities in and around Redding, but here are a few favorites that should make the to-do list for any visitor to the area.
READ MORE
10 Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in Redding, CA
Tucked away at the top of California in the Shasta-Cascade region, Redding is a great spot to take your kids for an outdoor family adventure. Parents will find lakes, rivers, hiking trails, culture, and gold-mining history a-plenty—all ready to be…
READ MORE
10 Lakes, Rivers, Pools, and Swimming Holes Where You Can Cool Off in Redding, CA
The variety of options for getting in the water to beat the heat in Redding, CA makes this city a great spot for families and outdoor adventurers in the summertime.
READ MORE
10 Things to do for $10 or less when visiting Redding
Let’s face it, when we travel, we want to enjoy attractions and things to do wherever it is that we go. But sometimes we want to stretch our dollars as far as we can. Luckily for you, Redding has plenty…
READ MORE
The 8 Best Dog-Friendly Trails near Redding
Hiking in and around Redding, California, is fantastic, but there’s one way to make it even better—hitting the trails with your favorite four-legged friend. Take advantage of these eight scenic and dog-friendly trails.
READ MORE
Redding's Cultural District comes to life in 360-degree videos
The Redding Cultural District comes to life with the release of the "Famously Redding" 360-degree video project, highlighting some of the top attractions, shops and things to do in downtown Redding.
READ MORE
Hiking to Kings Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park
King’s Creek Falls is a 40-foot waterfall located in the middle of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail is moderate, which makes it a perfect adventure for the casual hiker, or a nice add on to the nearby Lassen Peak…
READ MORE
3 Hikes to Lose Yourself in Nature in Lassen Volcanic National Park
There is nothing quite like being outdoors, and experiencing the solitude found on the trail. I also love that hiking can be for everyone. Whether you prefer summiting a mountain peak, climbing along a cascading creek, or taking a stroll…
READ MORE
Redding -- your perfect getaway for hiking adventures and an outdoor vacation
In Redding, located in the heart of UpState CA, you'll find an endless outdoor adventure playground perfect for all ages and interests. Hiking is one of the activities we do best around here with more than 225 miles of trails…
READ MORE
10 Amazing Waterfalls to See in Northern California
An international outdoor destination ringed by the Southern Cascades to the east and the much smaller range of the Trinity Alps to the west, Redding is a hotspot for waterfall chasers. It’s an area with both short and long winding…
READ MORE
10 Awesome National & State Park Day Trips Worth Taking from Redding
Wild, uncrowded, and memorable—these are the defining features of the far Northern California outdoors. The expanse of public lands around the town of Redding features an endless lineup of outdoor adventures, from fly fishing to summit bagging to scenic driving.…
READ MORE
Why Redding Is An Underrated Mountain Bike Town
In far Northern California, the promise of uncrowded trails means plenty of space to spread out and shred the singletrack—and Redding serves as the best base camp to explore it all. Within 15 miles, you’ll find more than 225 miles…
READ MORE
A Visitor's Guide to Downtown Redding
It’s no secret that Redding, California, is well known as a world-class outdoor destination, drawing active types from all over to hike in the surrounding Shasta-Cascade mountains, raft and fish in crystal-clear rivers, and spend lazy summer days on the…
READ MORE


OUR PARTNERS
Board of Directors Information Contact Us Website Developed by Drozian Webworks