Grandfather Mountain offers a view from the top

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.

For more information, call (800) 468-7325 or (828) 733-2013, or click to www.grandfather.com. Like them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GrandfatherMtn

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  • By Matt Debnam matt.debnam@averyjournal.com
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Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the High Country to take in the scenic wonder that is Grandfather Mountain. While the vast majority of tourists visit the mountain during the spring, summer and fall seasons, those who choose to come during the winter months are in for a unique exper…

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LINVILLE — Eyes will be looking to the skies again this September, and not for another solar eclipse. Instead, they’ll be focused on the thousands of raptors that will be migrating over the mountains and heading south – toward their wintering grounds.

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  • By Thomas Sherrill thomas.sherrill@wataugademocrat.com
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BANNER ELK — With dignitaries and officials present, the Grandfather Mountain State Park dedicated its new Profile Trail parking lot and trail extension on Friday, Aug. 11.

  • By Thomas Sherrill thomas.sherrill@wataugademocrat.com
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BANNER ELK – The Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail, a project that has seen its completion date pushed back several times, will finally be open to the public on Saturday, July 1.

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Among the most recognizable and visited attractions in the state of North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is nestled in the heart of the High Country. From its lovable animal habitats and comfortable summer climate to hands-on opportunities to get up close and personal with nature, Grandfathe…

  • Staff Report editor@mountaintimes.com
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LINVILLE — Amateur and professional photographers can now register for the Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic, a two-day seminar that offers presentations from outstanding photojournalists and opportunities for participants to improve their skills.

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They say the wonders never cease at Grandfather Mountain. Certainly, the views from the 228-foot, Mile High Swinging Bridge are awe-inspiring. But the views are just the beginning.

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  • By Garrett Price garrett.price@averyjournal.com
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LINVILLE – Early in the morning, before Grandfather Mountain opened its doors to the public, before the park’s other employees arrived at their stations, Habitat Curator Christie Tipton was busy. The mountain was totally quiet — an opportunity rarely afforded to the public, the usually busy …

  • By Garrett Price garrett.price@averyjournal.com
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Editor’s Note: The following is the second in a three-part series of “behind-the-scenes” articles spotlighting Grandfather Mountain and its programs.

  • By Garrett Price garrett.price@averyjournal.com
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After five unbroken days of rain, the sun returned to Avery County. More than 5,000 feet above sea level on Grandfather Mountain, Linville and MacRae peaks loom out of the mist like the prow of a ship. From the bottom, the mountain is deceptively quiet. Grandfather’s eponymous countenance is…

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  • Garrett Price garrett.price@gmail.com
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On Grandfather Mountain, atop the rocky bluff of Linville Peak, Travis Marceron spots a bald eagle. The host of onlookers, students and naturalist present on the mountain, produce binoculars from every bag, pocket and purse. They begin to give each other archaic, military-style directions to…

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After an immensely rainy year in 2013, Grandfather Mountain rainfall rebounded to below-normal precipitation levels in 2014, according to weather data collected at the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

  • By Jamie Shell jamie.shell@averyjournal.com
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The winter season is often overlooked as a great time to visit the mountain, when one’s breath can be seen in chilly temperatures as it is being taken away due to the picturesque views the mountain offers. 

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Tutorials on insects and plants, as well awe inspiring twilight hikes, highlight the list of family friendly activities scheduled this month at Grandfather Mountain in Linville.

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Amateur and professional photographers can now register for the Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic, a two-day seminar that offers presentations from photojournalists and opportunities for participants to improve their skills.

  • Michael Hardy
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One of the advantages of the Internet is the easy access to the millions of original documents that have now been digitized and placed at our fingertips. The article below was originally run in The Lenoir Topic on Aug. 22, 1888, and it provides us with another fascinating glimpse of our area…

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