What is it?
The P.I.N.T. Score is our rating system for hiking trails and adventures. It may have been inspired by our love for craft beer, but it contains the four elements we thought would be most helpful to you as you plan outdoor adventures with your kids:
- Parking & Access
- Interest Level
What do the numbers mean?
We rate each factor on a scale of 1-5. 1 is difficult or not good. 5 is easy or excellent.
More info below.
Parking & Access
Some places have large parking lots where you never have to worry about finding a spot. Other places have no parking at all. Still others have parking, but the lots are small. We’ll let you know just how easy it is to park and access the trail at each spot.
1 – No parking lot. Street parking only.
2 – Small lot for only 5-10 cars. Parking may be tight on weekends or busy days.
3 – Medium-sized lot for 15-20 cars. Spaces may fill up on weekends or busy days.
4 – Large lot for at least 20 cars. Spaces are generally available on most days.
5 – HUGE lot, no problem whatsoever finding parking. We’ve never seen the lot fill up.
With this factor, we’re thinking mostly about the kids. We gauge our own kids interest level as we walk each trail. If the trail is varied enough, or if there are large boulders to climb on, or if there is some other aspect of the trail that engages our children, this number will be higher. If a trail is boring or just another standard woodland trail, this number will be lower.
Here we are thinking about how easy it is to find your way. Some trails are super easy to follow and you basically can’t get lost as long as you stay on the trail. If you don’t need the trail map, we’ll rate Navigation as a 5. If a trail is well-marked and well-blazed, but you might need the map, we’ll rate it a 4. Trails that are harder to follow or may require the trail map or an app like AllTrails would receive a lower rating.
This factor is all about difficulty. Now, the difficulty of a trail varies for each person, so we can’t always rate this accurately for all people. However, trails that are paved with asphalt or gravel would get a 5 for terrain. Trails that are generally flat, standard woodland trails would be a 4. If the trail has varied terrain with some increases/decreases in elevation or significant obstacles, the number will be lower. Again, you need to make decisions about whether to hike a particular trail based on the abilities of those in your party.
In our videos and blog posts, we try to also share information about whether a trail is wheelchair accessible, stroller-friendly, and/or pet-friendly.
Don’t assume you can bring your dog. Not all trails are pet-friendly! If a trail is dog friendly, remember to keep your dog leashed and always pick up after your dog.
Some trails pass very close to private property. Always be respectful to neighbors so that we can all enjoy these public outdoor spaces.
We highly recommend hiking with friends, not only to make the experience more enjoyable, but also for safety’s sake. We have never felt unsafe on any of the trails we review here, but there is always safety in numbers. Be aware of your surroundings and keep in mind that cellphone signals may be limited in some areas.
The P.I.N.T. Score represents our opinions of this trail. It reflects our experience, perception, and physical health. Therefore, the scores are not intended to be expert advice, nor will they be accurate for everyone: we cannot judge what may or may not be appropriate for each individual’s different abilities. Consult a physician or medical expert before attempting any new physical activity. Hiking contains inherent hazards, so hike at your own risk. You should always make your own decisions about what level of physical activity is appropriate for you and your family. Weather and other factors may affect trail conditions. Remember, trail conditions may change suddenly and drastically at any time.