One of my all time favorite short hikes, Craggy Pinnacle is just 1.4 miles with a 250 foot gain in elevation. The view from the top is incredible on a clear day, and the hike through the rhododendrons feels like you stepped in to a magical fairy land. We took our kids this summer, and the Bear was able to hike it on his own at age 3. If you are in the Asheville area, hiking Craggy Pinnacle is a can’t miss hike. Be sure to read our post about hiking with toddlers here, and more hikes we love here.
When I lived in Asheville, I would often drive up to Craggy for a quick getaway or sunset hike. Some days the fog is so thick it looks like you could step off in to the clouds. One night right before we started dating, Jed and I saw a bear on the parkway by the visitor’s center, then watched the sun set twice because of cloud movement. It was magical.
Can you imagine early Appalachian settlers cutting their way through the thick rhododendrons to find their perfect homestead? Thinking about it makes me very thankful for trails.
Find the trailhead at the Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 364, just past the Visitor’s Center and through the tunnel (when headed north). Be sure to stick to the trail because the area surrounding is a fragile habitat. The rhododendrons bloom in June, and their petals really turn the trail in to another world. We visited in July this past summer, and the trail was still as wonderful as we remembered.
The top of Craggy Pinnacle is an incredible place to watch the sun set, but be sure to bring your flashlight for the trip back down. The top is a lovely place for a picnic, just be sure to carry your trash back out. The temperature drops as you rise in altitude, so pack a jacket even in the summer. Any stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a winner, but this one will always have a special place in my heart.
Where is your favorite place to hike with kids?
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