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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

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

BEAR SAFETY GUIDELINES   

Seeing a bear in its wild, natural environment is a very special experience; and is not an imminent risk – as long as you keep your distance, act responsibly.

Please adhere to the following guidelines to stay safe in Bear Country:
*Make enough noise so that you do not surprise a bear. You can put bells, or other noise maker on your pack to make noise as you hike.
* Keep your dog on a leash.
* If you notice a bear nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area as soon as possible.
* If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run.
* If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it.
* Never approach and never feed a bear.

Campers-
* Do NOT store food in tents.
* Properly store food and scented items like toothpaste by using a bear-proof container/ hang food away from campsite.
* Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills, or other areas of your campsite.
* Do not leave food unattended.
* Never run away from a bear- back away slowly and make lots of noise.

For more tips, visit:
http://go.usa.gov/czWbW 
https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go/bears

 Last updated on: Wednesday, October 2, 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.

 


Nuwati Trail
Location: Off Blue Ridge Parkway - Boone Fork Parking Area (GPS: 36.120076,-81.781358)

Description:

This trail follows the track of an old logging road. It’s an easy but rocky hike, including a spectacular view of the Boone Bowl and Calloway Peak from Storyteller's Rock. There are stream crossings, a solitary stand of big-tooth aspens and reminders of logging days gone by. Use extreme caution on stream crossings - do not attempt crossing streams in high water.

Note: From the Blue Ridge Parkway area, there are two points of access. Visitors may park at the Boone Fork parking area at mile 299.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Parkway’s Asutsi Trail, which begins on US 221 (the only winter access when the Parkway is closed)(Asutsi Trail Parking GPS: 36.116354, -81.777297). Hikers can follow the Parkway’s Tanawha Trail to reach the Nuwati trailhead.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.20 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
Blue Circle
View of Calloway Peak from Storyteller's Rock (Nuwati Trail)



Profile Trail
Location: 4198 NC Highway 105 N, Banner Elk (GPS: 36.119767, -81.835001)

Description:

Ascending about 1,775 feet over 3.6 miles, this trail begins at the Profile Trail parking area at 4198 NC Hwy 105 N and ends at the Grandfather Trail at Calloway Gap. Beginning as a scenic, rolling pathway through seasonal wildflowers, this trail crosses the Watauga River and travels under a hardwood canopy for much of its length. Upper sections, beginning around Foscoe View, get steeper. Shanty Spring, at 3.2 miles, marks a transition into a strenuous pathway of tumble-down rock that joins the Grandfather Trail after a climb of 0.4 mile. It makes the transition out of the hardwoods and into the Canadian fir zone of the crest area. The upper section is steep and rocky and calls for careful footwork; this section is not recommended for pets. Use extreme caution on stream crossings — do not attempt in high water.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
3.60 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
Orange Diamond