Took the kids camping this weekend.  Big guys were feeling a little lazy, and the littles wanted to attemp the famous “Pink and Purple Trail.”   Which is the Frank Coggins Trail, marked with purple blazes, and at one point pink blazes in addition as a second trail joins it briefly.

This is a good first hike for little hikers.   The trailhead is directly across the road from the Caesar’s Head Overlook ranger station at the top of highway 276.  The trail is short and not particularly rugged.  The up and down hills are steady but not too steep.  We did the full loop, which was a little bit more than our three-year-old was ready for.   Five-year-old, who is an average hiker for her age, did fine.

The scenery is classic mountain woodlands, with sweeping vistas of fern-covered coves, tight rhododendron passages, and one top-of-the-waterfall crossing.  (You can descend following the yellow blazes to view the falls from below, but know that it is a treacherous trail.)

Highly recommended for little hikers, those who want a real hike that is fun but not overly strenuous, and those who want a quick outing.  In a mixed group of hikers and non-hikers, know that the ranger station across the street has a gift shop with a good book selection, area 3-D contour map, picnic tables, and the famed overlook.  The overlook, by the way, is partly wheelchair-accessible — not the whole thing, but enough of it that you can take in the scenic view.  So you can split up and part of the group lounge at the ranger station while the hikers get in a short but fun hike.

Which gets to the other reason this is a great first hike for little ones: You can have ice cream afterwards.

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