Visiting the High Country is not complete without braving the Mile-High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain.
This 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm between peaks. While walking across, enjoy being suspended in mid-air, 5,280 feet above sea level.
The price of admission to Grandfather Mountain includes a trail guide and audio CD guide to the various attractions.
Famously, the steep road’s hairpin curves up to the summit were featured in a scene from the movie “Forrest Gump.”
As you drive up to the peak, overlooks include Half Moon Overlook, Cliffside Overlook and Sheer Bluff. These provide an opportunity to stop and take in the view as you make your way up the mountain.
Grandfather Mountain also features interesting rock formations accessible on foot, including the Sphinx and Split Rock. The Sphinx rock formation weighs more than 2 million pounds.
Grandfather Mountain is home to 11 hiking trails that range in difficulty from an easy nature walk to a trek over rugged terrain. Trails can be accessed for free from trailheads outside of the Grandfather Mountain attraction. Interpretive Rangers are available to lead guided hikes, bird walks and wildflower walks for families and groups.
Animals native to Grandfather Mountain can be seen in Wildlife Habitats. The seven environmental habitats feature cougars, eagles, white-tailed deer, black bears and river otters.
The Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum houses more than two dozen educational exhibits outlining the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region, including gems and minerals native to the region, stories of early explorers and local birdlife.
The Top Shop gift shop and gallery at the summit offers local and seasonal souvenirs. Stop in for lunch at Mildred’s Grill for some elevated eating.
Check the wildflower calendar to identify what will be in bloom during your tour. For a more in depth look at flora and fauna, go on a Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble. Grandfather Mountain offers this special program designed to help visitors get the most out of the memorable sight of rhododendron blooming on the mountain’s slopes in early summer. Staff naturalists offer programs and guided walks daily at 1 p.m.
Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ticket sales end at 6 p.m.
Adult admission is $20, senior admission is $18, and child admission is $9. Children younger than 4 are admitted for free.
For up to the minute weather information, check Grandfather Mountain’s website.
The park is fully wheelchair accessible.
Grandfather Mountain is located at 2050 Blowing Rock Highway in Linville.