Hiking areas suitable for kids

Posted in Routes and trails

Senda con niñosSome of Sierra de Guadarrama hikes and trails are relatively short and they do not present great unevenness; while this does not make them less impressive. They are particularly appropriate to spend a whole day with your family, taking simple walks in which kids would enjoy the nature.

There are lots of these trails, but we suggest you a selection we have picked from different geographical areas.

Should you want to get more information on other hikes in the Community of Madrid, please look at www.sendasdemadrid.es. You can also refer to the website of National Parks Agency (Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales) or the one from National Centre for Environmental Education (Centro Nacional de Educación Ambiental), to get information on Mounts of Valsaín hikes.

Hiking areas suitable for kids:

Fuenfría area

Borbonic Roadway trail (Calzada Borbónica)

This is a hike travelling along the only well preserved section of the ancient Roman Road, from time of the emperor Vespasian (I Century AD). It linked Titulcia village, in the Community of Madrid, with the city of Segovia. Until the 18th century, it was mostly the unique road connecting both Iberian mesetas.

One element of interest is the roman bridge Puente del Descalzo, in a well-preserved section of the imperial road. La Salud fountain area, nearby, holds beautiful specimens of yew trees and nice samples of riparian vegetation.

After the Los Corralitos meadow, a steep ascent whose layout matches a cattle track, leads us to the top of La Fuenfría Pass.

In recent years, it has been discovered that the Roman Road that was thought to follow the same layout than the Borbonic Roadway, has in fact a not coinciding section.


Difficulty: Low
Time of year: All
Home: Majavilán parking lot (Cercedilla)
End: La Fuenfría pass
Waymarking: White symbols
Time to walk: 4 h (Round trip)
Distance: 5,9 Km (Round trip)
Summit: 1,793 m
Lower altitude: 1,387 m
Recommendations: This is a suitable route for people with a minimum physical condition. In summer, avoid the middle of the day. Park vehicles in the parking areas intended for this purpose. Throw the wastes in containers. We are in a protected natural space, let us be respectful.

La Pedriza area

Shapes of La Pedriza trail

La Pedriza is located on the slope of the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park belonging to the Madrid province. It holds a granite landscape with an impressive geomorphology. The granites are plutonic igneous rocks, made of magma which started a slow cooling process inside the Earth’s crust, millions of years ago.

Walking along the trail, we can recognize landform features as rock pile formations, domes and ridges, and smaller ones which had been created by the erosion, such as tor formations, the Cueva de la Mora cave or vein structures as the ones on the Aleta del Tiburón.

The erosion has also caved bizarre forms in the rocks; several like animals, as "the seal", "the turtle", "the little pig" and "the bird", while some other evoke milestones as "the tolmo".

Furthermore, in the distance you will glimpse off more landforms, as the Cancho de los Muertos crag, the dome of El Yelmo and the crests of Las Torres.

There is a variant of the journey, called short trail, more suitable for families with younger kids (1.5 km).


Difficulty: Medium
Time of year: All
Home: Canto Cochino parking lot
End: Canto Cochino parking lot
Waymarking: blue circles
Time to walk: 4 h
Distance: 6.8 Km
Summit: 1.244 m
Lower altitude: 1.006 m
Recommendations: In summer, avoid the middle of the day. The recommended route to perform with children is the short path of 1.5 km in length

El Paular valley area

El Paular to Los Robledos

This walk starts by El Paular Monastery (Monasterio de El Paular), and goes parallel to the Road M-604 in Los Cotos direction. First leg follows Green Route nº 5 (Ruta Verde 5), which is marked with beacons. Just after passing the Valle de El Paular Visitors Centre (Centro de Visitantes Valle del El Paular), you must take the Palero road, which climbs up in between wild pines through a wide track.

The track splits a couple of times; you must ignore those crossroads and follow the one that widely goes left. Then you will reach a crossroads with a barrier, about 5 Km away from the beginning of El Palero road; at that time, you must abandon the main track and go left to the area of Los Robledos viewpoint (Mirador de los Robledos). This is a vantage point from which you can contemplate the entire high Lozoya Valley, stretched in between the Carpetanos mounts and the Cuerda Larga range.

An “orienting aid”, next to the Forest Guard monument, shows you the names of the sites you are looking at. The (asphalted) track descents in the road direction; then you must cross it and walk up to the area of La Isla.  A small bridge crosses the river next to one of the restaurants. You must leave the fence on the left, and then take the road that leads towards El Paular and Rascafría. This section coincides with Green Route nº 1 (Ruta Verde 1). Just after passing Las Presillas, you will reach the end of the trail, once more, in front of El Paular.


Difficulty: Low
Time of year: All
Home: in front of El Paular Monastery
End: El Paular
Partial waymarking:
Time to walk: 3 h
Distance: 12.6 Km
Summit: 1,326 m
Lower altitude: 1,154 m
Recommendations: This is an easy trail on which we must take special care when crossing the road. Since it is not entirely marked, make sure you would not lose your way at the time you would get around the island and cross the river, by taking Green Route 1 which leads to Rascafria.

Valsaín Valley area

Valsain, a rich and generous world. Blue/Red Itineraries

Touring around river Eresma banks. Those circular routes start at the Boca del Asno recreation area and run downstream in North direction by the right side of the river, then reach Navalacarreta bridge and return to the start point by the opposite river bank.

Both journeys share their layout up to the bridge; the Blue Itinerary returns by the river bank and the red one goes into the pine grove and leads next to Las Cárcavas stream. The Red one is a little longer. Both are flagged with coloured wooden stakes and they hold some spots to pause at and appreciate these mountains natural and historical wealth.


Difficulty: Low
Time of year: All
Home: Boca del Asno Recreation area
End: Boca del Asno Recreation area
Waymarking: Beacons with red/blue bands. Points of interest are marked orange and hold a number.
Time to walk: Blue Itinerary: 1 h 30 min. Red Itinerary: 2 h.
Distance: Blue Itinerary: 2 km. Red Itinerary: 3 km.
Summit: 1,255 m
Lower altitude: 1.215 m
Recommendations: The roots of trees in the trail may hinder the journey in certain areas if travelled with a baby pushchair.

A walk through Valsaín Forest

A short walk around the National Center for Environmental Education (CENEAM) will let us enjoy the Valsaín Forest great richness and beauty.

Smells, pictures, colors... we will evoke a multitude of sensations.  We should only keep our senses watchfull.


Difficulty: Low
Time of year: All
Home: CENEAM
End: CENEAM
Waymarking: Beacons with green top edges. Points of interest are marked red and hold a number.
Time to walk: 1h.
Distance: 1.9 km.
Summit: 1,255 m
Lower altitude: 1.215 m
Recommendations: The roots of trees in the trail may hinder the journey in certain areas if travelled with a baby pushchair.

Navafría area

Classic “Senda del Chorro” trail

Easy loop trail by the Cega riverbanks, in the Peripheral Protection Zone of the National Park. It allows us to admire one of the most emblematic cascades in the Sierra de Guadarrama: the “Chorro del Pinar de Navafría”. This trail starts at El Chorro recreation area and ascents by the left river bank (looking downstream) between stately wild pines, to reach the basis of the cascade. We shall return by the opposite bank, after crossing the Sabina bridge.


Difficulty: Low
Time of year: All
Home: El Chorro recreation area
End: El Chorro recreation area
Waymarking: beacons with yellow/white bands (small tour)
Time to walk: 1 h
Distance: 1,5 Km
Peak: 1,410 m
Lower altitude: 1,325
Recommendations: In winter, snow may impede our access to the base of the cascade. The roots of trees in the trail may hinder the journey in certain areas if travelled with a baby pushchair.

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