Grandfather Mountain State Park
Hiking to the Bridge? Hike back down or have pre-arranged ride.
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If you are hiking to the swinging bridge (in the private Grandfather Mountain attraction): you must have a pre-arranged ride or hike back down the trail. The attraction staff is not permitted to give rides to hikers and hikers are not permitted to hike down the Attraction road.
Call 828.733.4337 for Attraction gate hours.
BE AWARE THAT RIDGELINE CONDITIONS ARE MORE EXTREME THAN LOWER ELEVATIONS. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS HIKE IF YOU ARE NOT PHYSICALLY PREPARED AND PROPERLY EQUIPPED.
Updated: 2015-04-24 15:46:18
SPRING Hiking Notice
Nesting birds and dogs.
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> 04/24/15 Trail Conditions
-- A great deal of rain in the past week has left many of the trails quite wet, slick and muddy. Please use caution when hiking in these conditions. Additionally, cold temperatures at night may create icy conditions for areas along the ridgeline. Please use caution on upper trail areas, especially on rocks, ladders and cabled areas.
> 04/20/15 SPRING CONDITIONS
-- Temperatures can still be quite cold on the mountain, especially on the ridgeline and overnight - be prepared if you are camping on the mountain. During the spring, thunderstorms are more likely to occur. Please be mindful about lightning. Do not stay on the mountain if you see lightning. Lightning is a serious threat to hikers and campers and should not be taken lightly. If you hear thunder or see lightning, please do not continue on your hike. If possible, head back down the trail. Do not take shelter under rocky areas or tall trees.
SPRING HIKING NOTICE
-- Spring weather is temperamental: be prepared for high winds, thunderstorms, even snow and ice.
-- Be aware that hypothermia is a serious threat: carry appropriate clothing.
-- Immediately head down the mountain if you hear thunder or see lightning.
-- Do not hike beyond your abilities: weather and injuries can affect everyone.
-- If you are hiking to the swinging bridge, you must have a pre-arranged ride or hike back down. The attraction staff will not drive you to your vehicle. Vehicle access to the bridge is closed before sunset.
-- Do not exceed your abilities: turn around if conditions are unfavorable for you.
-- Hiking to the bridge is very strenuous: it is NOT easier than hiking up the Profile or Daniel Boone Scout Trails.
-- IF YOU ARE HIKING TO THE SWINGING BRIDGE: This is not a loop trail; you must hike back on the same trail or have a pre-arranged ride. Staff will not drive hikers from the attraction back to the trailheads. The Attraction gate closes at 5:00 p.m. and you need to be off the trail and through the gate before they close. During inclement weather the Swinging Bridge and top of the Attraction are closed with no vehicle access to the top – this may include fog, heavy rain or high winds.
For Your Pets Safety
DOGS MUST BE LEASHED AT ALL TIMES in the state park. This is for the safety of the dog, safety of other hikers, and protection of the animals and plants that live on this mountain. Juncos (small gray and black birds) are nesting now in the banks along the trail. An unleashed dog can find a junco nest and easily disturb, or even kill all its occupants before the dog's owners arrive.
Our trails are steep and rocky with over a dozen ladder climbs on the ridgeline and higher elevations. Many dogs have been injured on these sections of trails. It is very difficult for hikers to maintain a dog's leash on the difficult sections. For these reasons we do not recommend hiking with dogs on the Grandfather Trail, Cragway Trail, or upper portions of the Daniel Boone Scout and Profile trails.
> Monitor local weather before heading out on the trails
- We recommend that hikers always check forecasted weather conditions before hiking on Grandfather Mountain, especially in the winter months. You can check local weather at Ray's Weather: www.averyweather.com
Check our website often for updates. Please call our office if you have any questions: 828.963.9522.
[Real-Time Blue Ridge Parkway closures http://maps.nps.gov/blri/road-closures
Updated: 2015-04-24 15:46:18
P.O. Box 9, Linville, NC 28646
GPS: 36.11139, -81.81250
Grandfather Mountain's stone profile faces have long gazed out over the ancient Appalachians, earning the acclaim of explorers and botanists alike as the apex of the Blue Ridge in grandeur and ecological diversity. Towering nearly a vertical mile over the Piedmont, Grandfather has been recognized for centuries as a sentinel summit. In 1794, the mountain's dramatic views convinced the Botanist Andre Michaux that he'd climbed "the highest peak in all North America." From alpine-like vegetation and vistas on the highest peaks, to cascading streams far down in the foothills, more than a dozen distinct ecological zones stretch across the landscape. Seventy-plus species of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals populate this rugged mountain, making it one of the East's most significant peaks; a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve. The park is known for some of the South's most severe weather and challenging hiking trails. Be prepared—at times, hikers climb ladders up cliffs. Nature lovers and hikers alike find Grandfather Mountain to be a special, indeed globally significant place to encounter the outdoors.
In 2008, agreement was reached for the state parks system to acquire 2,456 acres of Grandfather Mountain to become North Carolina’s newest state park. The property is commonly known as the “backcountry” of the famous travel destination. The acquisition was arranged with the help of The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy, which holds conservation easements on the mountain covering nearly 4,000 acres. The acquisition was financed by the Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage trust funds.
In early 2009, the General Assembly formally authorized Grandfather Mountain State Park. This gives the state parks system the option of seeking additional acreage for traditional park facilities. Any additional tracts or facilities would be identified and prescribed through a public master planning process.
Grandfather Mountain Attraction - While state park trails can be accessed from the parking areas at the attraction (fees apply), the state parks system has no management responsibilities for the private Grandfather Mountain attraction and its facilities. Complete information about the attraction can be found at www.grandfather.com or by calling 828-733-4337.
Take a virtual tour of Grandfather Mountain on Google's Trekker: