The question in my mind is: Has your son/children been in the mountains before?
If they haven't than even minor peaks will be fascinating to them if it even has half a view and you encourage them. A trail along a river/creek to somewhere "high" would be optimum as it allows you to stop at any point along the route. Though at the age of 13 they are probably in better shape than you are so... =)
If they have, then any of the above suggestions sounds good. My personal favorite is anywhere in the Glacier Peak Wilderness in WA. St. in July. Flowers everywhere, Some snow patches for snowball fights and "tricky" crossings to make it more adventurous to boot.
Whatever you do DO NOT CAMP AT A LAKE!!! Unless you want to be miserable swatting mosquitoes and flies. IF it is a lake make sure it is a South/East facing lake as they will have far fewer bugs than any north facing lake!!! Such lakes would be Waptus Lake/Image Lake/Enchantments(E. Facing) or lakes that are really ponds up high which recieve sun from all directions. Tank lakes come to mind in the ALpine Lakes wilderness.
Lakes of bug horror are lakes like Gold Lake, Blanca Lake, Wildcat lakes, and all north facing lakes around 4000 feet here in Washington.
As for gear, I used a school back pack for clothes and a Colman sleeping bag which costs around $30 today. Tennis shoes work just fine. Garbage bag for a "jacket" That was my introduction to the outdoors! Sleeping pad??? What is that? Extra weight... ugg. Couple of black garbage bags cut open for a ground mat and viola, a ground mat and a toboggan for the snow patches all in 1. 2L pop bottle water bottle and a bag of candy and a couple bagels finishes the ensamble.
kakakiw wrote: kakakiw wrote:
woodsxc wrote:e-doc, go north. The AT in Maine wouldn't be too crowded. If you go north from near Rangeley Lake, you'd hit a bunch of 4k peaks and some absolutely gorgeous hiking. 4k's you'd get: Saddleback, the Horn, Abraham, Spaulding, Sugarloaf, Crocker, South Crocker, Redington, and Avery and West (Bigelow). Three are sidetrips: Sugarloaf is .6 miles, Abraham is about a mile and a quarter, and Redington is roughly a mile. IMO, that stretch from Saddleback to Bigelow is one of the best backpacks anywhere.
If you wanna go west though, RMNP is stellar. You can do some great loops from Grand Lake.
I concur about Maine.
I can even give you a shuttle.