It was a Saturday, and my husband was working during the weekend. My kids were bored, and I needed to leave the house. I didn’t want to be around crowds, but I also wanted to try something new. I did a quick internet search for hikes in the East Bay with kids and came across the Bridgeview Troll Hike in Oakland. I checked the location, and it was near the Montclair golf course off highway 13. Because we were going early in the morning, I felt comfortable taking the kids without my husband.
So, what is this troll “hike”?
My kids burst through the door as soon as I told them where we were going – on a troll hike! So, what is this troll “hike”? This troll hike is a rocky walk, mostly flat, suitable for a stroller with tire suspension to handle the terrain. It’s about a mile long, one way, and you’ll have to plan to walk back as well; it’s not a loop. Along the trail, you’ll see man-made “trolls,” not your troll dolls; these are silly, somewhat large figurines made from recycled items. Quite clever and cool to check out and discuss with your kids.
It’s not hilly, so it’s a great beginner’s hike, and because it is a shorter distance, my six and four-year-olds were ok to walk. But my one-year-old needed to be carried. Although he can walk, the steep hill is not safe for new walkers without hands and eyes. Because I was outnumbered, I went with a baby carrier for him. We picked kids’ cameras so they could photograph all the trolls they found, which was a fun treat. Because they had that to look forward to, they weren’t complaining about the walking part.
If I were to do it over again, I would have dressed them in pants. The shorts they had on did not help them on the hike. Small hikes with rocks still threaten all three of my kids. Unfortunately, on the walk, my six-year-old tripped and cut her knee pretty badly. Nonetheless, they still loved the hunt for trolls. At the end of the hike, they had playground swings to enjoy. These swings are the “risky” type of swings that need an adult to be there to push them and to make sure everyone is safe. Warning, some might not feel comfortable because of the height of the swings and setup.
Stopping for a slice of pizza.
But all in all, this was a fun intro to hiking; my kids got fresh air, explored a new spot, and got to hunt for something new. That kept it exciting. My favorite part was after the hike. We found some food trucks and stopped for a slice of pizza. It was a fun, spontaneous outing, and it felt wonderful to get out of the house and explore. This is a great beginner hike that’s perfect for families.