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Trails


9872 N.C. 105 S.
Suite #6
Banner Elk, NC 28604

828-963-9522
grandfather.mountain@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 36.111200, -81.811140

 

November - February: 8am - 6pm
March, April, May, September, October: 8am - 8pm
June, July, August: 8am - 9pm

To accommodate early hikes, park gates are not closed on a daily basis; however, they may close due to weather conditions.

OFFICE HOURS:  The state park office is open Monday through Friday, 8am - 4:30pm. You may contact our office during business hours or after hours; leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9
Linville, NC 28646

Winter Weather Warning   

Winter weather is here!

During the colder months be especially mindful that it gets dark early, and temperatures drop quckly at dusk.

Don't brave ridgeline trails unless you are experienced in winter alpine conditions and fully prepared for the weather with all necessary gear.

 

Minimum Gear Necessary for Winter Weather Hiking:

1. Ice Traction- Microspikes

2. Extra Water

3. Extra Food

4. Extra Clothing Layers (synthetic fabrics, wool, or silk- no

cotton)

5. Headlamp

 

Please make sure to check the local weather conditions before your hike. Since we don't have our own weather station, we check raysweather.com, and look at a nearby spot with comparable elevation, such as Sugar Mountain Top or Seven Devils. http://averyweather.com/Forecast/Sugar+Mountain+Top
 

UPPER ELEVATIONS:

Ice and snow persist at higher elevations throughout winter. Snow and ice on ridgeline.

LOWER ELEVATIONS:

Temperature fluctuations at lower elevations can make trails both icy and muddy. If hiking the lower Profile Trail, remember: GET MUDDY! Stay on the trail and do not walk around wet spots, as this creates more damage to the natural resources. There is a boot scraper and boot brush for you just as you get off the Profile Trail.

STREAM CROSSING:

Both rain and melting snow can make the Profile Trail stream crossing at mile 1.5 hazardous due to high water. Rangers recommend turning around if the water line is above boulders in crossing.

Hiking above Profile View on the Profile Trail and Flat Rock View on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is not recommended for inexperienced or unequipped hikers. High winds, cold temperatures and unseen ice are all trail hazards that should be taken seriously.

 

KNOW YOUR LIMITS. This includes current physical ability, level of experience in winter alpine conditions, what kind of gear you have, and overall preparedness. Weather and temperatures can change dramatically and rapidly and you do not want to get caught unprepared. Do not hike beyond your experience.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Holiday Hours   

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation (the private attraction with the Swinging Bridge) will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Those hiking out to the Swinging Bridge must plan to HIKE BACK since no one will be able to enter the attraction to pick them up at the top.

The State Park and its trails will be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 

 Last updated on: Monday, November 18, 2019

Profile Trail Renovations   

Major trail renovations are being done on the Profile Trail and will last through 2020. 

The trail WILL remain open during this time unless otherwise stated. To ensure the safety of contractors and other hikers, please be aware and follow trail workers’ guidance for safe passage. Your cooperation ensures the trail will remain open during this time.

 Last updated on: Monday, November 18, 2019

List of trails

Grandfather Mountain State Park offers more than 12 miles of trails lacing 2,456 acres along the mountain's ridgeline and its highest point at Calloway Peak. The trails offer magnificent scenery from rock outcrops and quiet forested coves near the mountain's crest. Permits are required.

Most of these trails are challenging; steep, rocky terrain can make progress slow at times. Hikers must use the trails' ladders and cables in some of the steeper sections. Be aware that hiking to the ridge area and back from the low-elevation trailheads may take a full day. Plan for enough time to get back to your vehicle before dark. And, wear proper clothing and carry adequate equipment.

Grandfather Mountain attraction employees and state park rangers patrol trails on a routine basis to offer help and directions, check for permits and monitor use of the backcountry.

 


Black Rock Trail
Location: (GPS: 36.095595, -81.828517) Hikers can access the Black Rock Trail from the Black Rock Parking Lot inside the private Grandfather Mountain attraction.

Description:

From the attraction's Black Rock parking lot, the Black Rock Trail slopes out gradually to a wide-angle view of the swinging bridge, MacRae and Attic Window peaks as well as Beacon Heights and Grandmother Mountain to the southwest. To reach these view points at the end of the trail, hikers must climb a ladder and cable up the rock. This trail rambles through northern hardwood and spruce forests. Hikers return to the parking lot via the same trail.


Surface: natural surface, ladders

Length:
1.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Gold Circle

Cragway Trail
Location: (GPS: 36.118197, -81.790846 at Nuwati Trail) (GPS: 36.111684, -81.794004 at DBS Trail) The Cragway Trail is a connector trail between the Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails.

Description:

A steep, strenuous hike with grand vistas. Boulders and crags offer elevated views of the Boone Fork area and Calloway Peak. This trail links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trails, making a nice loop hike passing through rhododendron and blueberry thickets. Due to the narrow, steep terrain, this trail is not recommended for dogs.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
Orange Circle

Daniel Boone Scout Trail
Location: (GPS: 36.113793,-81.780963) Hikers can access the Daniel Boone Scout Trail from the Boone Fork Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milemarker 299.9). From the parking lot, follow the Tanawha Trail for 0.6 miles to the Daniel Boone Scout Trailhead.

Description:

Ascending about 2,000 feet over three miles, this hike begins at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Tanawha Trail and climbs to Calloway Peak, at 5,946 feet, the highest point in the Blue Ridge Range. About halfway up, at Flat Rock View, hikers reach the junction of Cragway Trail. The upper half of the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is rough going but spiced with exquisite views, including one of Price Park and one of the Linn Cove Viaduct. Near Calloway Peak, in-place ladders and cables help hikers through steep sections. The upper portion of this trail is not recommended for pets.


Surface: natural surface, ladders

Length:
3.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous
Blaze:
White Diamond

Grandfather Extension Trail
Location: Connects Grandfather Trail and Black Rock Trail (GPS: 36.095498, -81.828862)

Description:

This trail begins in the Black Rock Parking lot and ends at the Grandfather Trail, below a grand view of MacRae Peak. Connecting this trail with the Grandfather and Bridge trails creates a loop. Not recommended for pets.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.60 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Red Diamond

Grandfather Trail
Location: Ridgeline - running between Calloway Peak and the private Grandfather Mountain Swinging Bridge parking lot.

Description:

(Elevation gain and loss over 2.4 miles is roughly 1,872 feet.) The Grandfather Trail runs the length of the summit ridge from the Grandfather Mountain attraction to Calloway Peak. It offers astonishing variety, running in and out of wind-dwarfed spruce and fir, across or around rock walls and pinnacles and into open spaces with mountain views in every direction. It was along this trail two centuries ago that explorer/botanist Andre Michaux broke into song thinking he had arrived at the high point of North America. The pace is often slow. There are chutes where progress is hand-over-hand and extra steep sections where hikers use in-place cables and ladders. An alternative to taking the ladders up MacRae Peak is to opt for the more sheltered Underwood Trail. Not recommended for children, inexperienced hikers, or pets.


Surface: natural surface, ladders

Length:
2.40 miles
one way
Difficulty:
advanced
Blaze:
Blue Diamond

Park Maps and Brochures:

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 10:00am
Saturday, December 21, 2019 - 2:00pm
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - 1:00pm