Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Take a Trip to Grandfather Mountain

Experience Nature and Beauty in the Mountains of North Carolina

Grandfather Mountain - Sherry Jackson
Grandfather Mountain got its’ name in part because the ridge line resembles an old man looking into the sky and also some of the rocks are over a billion years old.

At less than a two hour drive from Charlotte, North Carolina, this North Carolina attraction is a great place to visit any time of year. Fall brings crisp air and leaves that are vibrant shades of red, orange and gold. Winter brings snow capped mountain peaks. Azaleas bloom in the Spring and Summer brings a respite from the heat.

Grandfather Mountain sits at 5,946 feet above sea level in the Western North Carolina Mountains. The mountain itself is over seven hundred and thirty millions years old and covers about twenty seven hundred acres of undeveloped back country. It is home to over seventy three rare and endangered species, including the Peregrine Falcon.

Getting to Grandfather Mountain

Getting to Grandfather Mountain is relatively easy. From the town of Blowing Rock, take Highway 221 which winds around the rim of the mountains. This road is pretty curvy and is not recommended for people who get car sick. But, the scenery is great and there are several small roadside waterfalls. An alternative is to take the Blue Ridge Parkway. It also has great scenic views with several pull-outs to take pictures.

Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain

Once inside the gates of this North Carolina attraction, head up to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. This bridge is the highest suspension bridge in America. It is a pedestrian bridge over a deep ravine where visitors are literally a mile above sea level. Keep in mind that wind chill on the swinging bridge can be brutal in the fall and winter but the view is spectacular, just be sure to dress appropriately. The visitor center is currently undergoing renovation and will open again in Spring 2010.

Hiking at Grandfather Mountain

If hiking is more to someone’s liking there are over twelve miles of back-country trail systems within Grandfather Mountain State Park. The park provides trail maps for easy guidance. Trails are generally easy to moderate. A short hike is the Bridge Trail which is accessed from the Trails parking lot near the summit and is a way for visitors that don’t have a lot of time to take in the hiking experience.

A small Museum gives visitors a history of the area and also offers a gift shop, restroom facilities and a cafe. There are also many picnic areas within the park. Camping is permitted in designated areas.

Adjacent to the Museum is an animal preserve. The bears, deer, otters, cougars and bald eagles that reside here have all been wounded or rescued and couldn’t survive in the wild. It gives visitors a glimpse of the animals that inhabit this area.

So discover nature and head on up to Grandfather Mountain.

  • Grandfather Mountain - Sherry JacksonGrandfather Mountain – Sherry Jackson
  • Fog at Grandfather Mountain - Sherry JacksonFog at Grandfather Mountain – Sherry Jackson
  • Bear at Grandfather Mountain - Sherry JacksonBear at Grandfather Mountain – Sherry Jackson
  • Grandfather Mountain - Sherry JacksonGrandfather Mountain – Sherry Jackson
  • Fog at Grandfather Mountain - Sherry JacksonFog at Grandfather Mountain – Sherry Jackson
  • Bear at Grandfather Mountain - Sherry Jackson

This article was originally published on Suite101: Take a Trip to Grandfather Mountain: Experience Nature and Beauty in the Mountains of North Carolina http://www.suite101.com/content/take-a-trip-to-grandfather-mountain-a161911#ixzz13lLSwoTG

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About the Author

Sherry Jackson

Sherry Jackson’s love of travel came at a young age. Her family would load up the car on the weekend, pick a destination and set off to explore. She has traversed thru jungles, snorkeled the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and wandered the streets of Paris, always searching for her next adventure. Her articles have been featured in a variety of outlets including USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Foothills Spotlight Magazine, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, CityRoom, The Simpsonville Sentinel and countless other print and online publications. She owns and maintains four websites (www.seethesouth.com , www.dragonflyventures.com, dvtravels.net and www.rulesforeveryday.com). Sherry is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). Her work can be viewed at www.dragonflyventures.com.

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