Monday, May 23, 2016

A day trip to Grandfather Mountain

Looking for a "day trip" a bit further afield? Grandfather Mountain might be just the ticket! It is about an hours drive from the cabins. While the Grandfather Mountain and Mile High Swinging Bridge is very much a tourist destination, it is a beautiful area and has some great trails. While this isn't my typical recommendation for an out-of-the-way destination, it has a lot going for it and can be a very fun day trip!

Grandfather Mountain is home to the Mile High Swinging Bridge, built in 1952, it is America's highest suspension footbridge and was built to give visitors a view to Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak. The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. Re-built in 1999 using modern building materials, the walk across this bridge is sure to be the highlight of your trip.  Please note that you are required to purchase tickets for admission and the funds from your admission tickets benefit the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the park for future generations. 

Grandfather Mountain has a number of trails across the park from easy to strenuous. If you want to skip the admission to the Swinging Bridge, and hike for free, you can access the trail heads from outside the attraction. There are off mountain trailheads located either on the Blue Ridge Parkway (or U.S. 221 in winter) or N.C. 105. We have maps of the trails and access points in our Lodge building, just ask us!

The mountain also has an excellent Nature Museum, a number of naturalist programs, a globally recognized nature preserve, and is recognized as an "important bird area" by the Audubon Society of NC.  

Spend the day hiking, stroll across the Mile High Bridge, enjoy the gorgeous views and appreciate what the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is working to preserve. 

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