What does it take to get kids on the trail? Not much, other than
* an early enthusiastic start
* water and snacks
* a clear destination
* and an adult who’s going to enjoy the hike as much as the kids.
Today, I took Hannah, twelve-years old, and Isa, five-years old, up to the Craggys on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went on two short trails, each with a clear destination.
First, we went up to Craggy Pinnacle, a classic walk up to the fantastic 360-degree view. See above. When we first got up there, we had the viewpoint to ourselves but frankly, it’s more fun with a few people around. Isa was so excited that it was difficult to keep her from running both up and down. The trail is is great shape but it is rocky and I was concerned that she would fall and skin her knees.
We came down and drove south on the parkway to stop at the Craggy visitor center where we stamped our national park passports.
Then we met Ranger Amy Duernberger, where I took a picture of the girls with the ranger.
Our last stop was the Craggy Picnic Gardens. We walked up the Mountains-to-Sea Trail up to the gardens, stopping at the shelter.
Though the rhododendrons and azaleas were no longer blooming, it was still an exciting place. So different from Craggy Pinnacle.
By then, there were several groups going up or down, or just wandering through the gardens. We even saw a couple of families that had also gone up the Pinnacle.
The morning ended with a picnic. After all, we were at the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area.