Being one of the highest peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Mountain continues to be one of the High Country’s most visited destinations. Although the most famous view is from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, there are several other spots throughout the state park to get a glimpse of this North Carolina favorite. Here is your guide to your Grandfather Mountain getaway:
The Mile High Swinging Bridge is an obvious choice when visiting. Providing a 360 degree view of Grandfather Mountain, it’s no wonder it’s been a favorite by tourists and locals alike since opening in 1952. The Bridge, which literally swings when walking on it, is known as one of the best views of Grandfather Mountain, and sits at over one mile of elevation, hence the name.
If you’d rather not see Grandfather Mountain from a (completely safe, yet intimidating) bridge that sits a mile in the sky, there are plenty of walking and hiking trails in the area. Eleven trials ranging from a smooth walk with the family to a rigorous hike through the mountain are available from the entrance of Grandfather Mountain State Park. The backcountry trails tend to be tailored for the experienced hiker, where the in-park nature trails are leisurely and easy going. Choose yours here.
One of our favorite trails that accommodates all experience levels is Linville Falls. Enjoy the 90-foot waterfall and the views of the mountain year round, and get there by a steady half mile hike. Stay for a couple hours and go swimming or reserve a campsite and stay overnight.
We know you didn’t come to the High Country for indoor activities, but the Nature Museum is a must see. Get a look at the history of Grandfather Mountain and surrounding areas and exhibits on gems, minerals, and wildlife. Afterwards, dine at the museum’s onsite restaurant, Mildred’s Grill while overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains at one of 140 picnic tables. If you’re with a group, reserve one of the indoor tables. Mildred’s will also prepare a to-go picnic for you, so make sure to stop by pre-hike!
Grandfather Mountain State Park also offers daily events free with admission fee. If you’re planning on visiting, click here so you can see what events are planned for your time of visit. Happy hiking!