nature trips

dogs on leash

Grandfather Mountain's stone profile faces have long gazed out over the ancient Appalachians, earning the acclimation of explorers and botanists alike as the apex of the Blue Ridge in granduer 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.

8 days ago

Great view at the end. It had rained an hour before we got on the trail so it was muddy in places. It is a rocky trail so the rocks were slippery too. At the end there is a ladder and then a rope to pull you up on the rock. The ladder needs more steps for short people.

trail closed due to wash out from recent storms

1 month ago

Took about 1.5 hours round trip with some rest breaks. Wouldn’t call it easy - some flat spots but mostly steady incline. Coming back was a breeze, all downhill. The payoff view is great but you really do have to climb up some rocks to get to it. Reco hiking boots or shoes rather than sneakers but it’s still doable.

Heading to NC in a few months, I read a posts down that the elevated portion of the trail where most photos are taken was under construction.
Can anybody add an update to if that location is open again?

Also, is there a shorter path to get to just the photo location?

Great hike. Awesome workout. Nice views

This is one of my favorite hikes, I've been on it a couple times! I like how it goes up and then down along the trail. I would recommend this for anyone that wants a cool view of the parkway

Really enjoy this short trail, the portion that actually runs underneath the Linn Cove Viaduct is awesome! Highly recommend this trail.

Haha went right past this on my way to calloway peak, the cragway trail is nice, I imagine many flowers bloom on the way up. cool formation

Great views & trails! Only setback was we didn’t realize Black Rock was inside the grandfather mountain park & had to pay $20 each to hike. Other than that, we had a great time!

As of 03/25 the portion leading to the viaduct is currently under construction, so no way of getting up to see the views. Otherwise, really nice easy hike. Had fresh fallen snow when I went.

Fantastic views- is definitely not for a beginner hiker though. Most of the hike involved simple rock climbing and was all roots/rocks. There are ladders scaling the mountainsides that you must climb and cables that you have to use to hoist yourself up steep rocks. WORTH IT though if you’re up for the challenge. The views are incredible.

3 months ago

Went with my husband and our two doggos. It was tough in some areas with the dogs on a leash. I wouldn’t say this is an easy trail. Especially when you get to the end it’s pretty rocky and steep. I wore tennis shoes and I definitely should have worn real hiking boots with real tread. It was a really fun hike though & I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Rocky path with amazing views! so beautiful.

6 months ago

Beautiful- uphill one way, but slight- bridge over beautiful creek, goes to a huge rock you can climb to the top to for beautiful views. Probably about an hour 10 mins there and back walking casually.

Great trail. Easy until left turn up Cragway HT, not crazy difficult. It was super windy at the top but had incredible boulders and beautiful views of the valley.

Took the Nuwati trail to the Cragway Trail then Flat Rock View. Cragway was challenging with rocky terrain which made it super fun and interesting!

7 months ago

Trails are clearly marked. There are different trails you can take off of this one if you want to lengthen your hike. Stream crossings, so plenty of water for dogs. Nice walk through the woods. Rocks and a little mud, but doable for a 56 year old with knee problems!

Great registered camping sites and pretty easy hike. Storytellers rock is pretty and a must go. Plenty of roots and rocks for the majority of the trail. Lots of small to medium water sources that cross the trail and can get your feet wet. Love it!

Great fun with my daughter today.

9 months ago

Nice, easy out and back hike to Storyteller's Rock. Will definitely do again when leaves fall. Add this one to the Cragway Trail and head back down D.B. Scout Trail for a good loop.

Easy hike with several stream crossings the last of which is challenging. Will need all fours to cross some slippery rocks. The overlook is reached after a scramble up a relatively steep incline. The vista is worth the effort

There's a side trail about halfway in that you'd have to be in fairly good shape to navigate but leads you to the top of these rocks that overlook the entire viaduct and is phenomenal! One of the best views I've seen on the Parkway

Did this hike on a cloudy semi-rainy day and we stayed dry under the cover of the trees and rocks. Very pleased with the unique views and both my 10 and 4 year old kids enjoyed the hike.

10 months ago

I did part of the Tanawha yesterday. I started at Linn Cove and went to Rough Ridge. I advise anyone doing this hike to have on hiking shoes. You're going to need them for grip on the rocks. There were lots of boulders, roots, rock steps and vegetation. The views were limited but beautiful. When you first start at Linn Cove you will climb the rock steps under the Viaduct and go in between a series of boulders. It's really neat. The majority of this section of Tanawha is going up and down rock formations that are supposed to be steps. I did it in both directions and can't say one way was easier or better than the other. It's up and down the whole way. At the end of this section that ends at Wilson Creek there is a bridge you cross with a waterfall to the left. Not much water coming down yesterday due to lack of rain. It was still pretty, though. There were a few sections that I had to stop and look to make sure that it was part of the trail because it consisted of boulders lying on one another. You just had to pick your way across them. My trail book rates this trail as moderately strenuous and I'd say that is about right. Lots of roots and rocks. You could step wrong one time and get hurt. I enjoyed the trail and plan to do the whole Tanawha one day. Is this a trail I'd carry the whole family on? Depends on the family. It's comfortable for a short ways but when you get further into the trail you're going to work a little. I think it was worth it.

10 months ago

Nuwati means medicine....good name. The trail is an easy walk, peaceful and soothing. The weather was particularly fine this hike which only enhanced the overall beauty. There were some few scrambles especially at the last creek crossing...not a problem at all for the young but for the more seasoned hikers, more caution was needed.
Storyteller rock is an awesome sight. Absolutely huge! And quite the scramble to get up but the views were fantastic.
Just a great great hike.

Great views at the rock overlooking the Viaduct. Cool rock formations on the way. Being sure footed would be advised here.

Nice hike to see the underside of the Viaduct, and if you keep going some large rocks where views of the valley are great.

11 months ago

If you are young and in good shape, you will find this trail mildly challenging until the end. Then, you'll need to clamber up over some steep rocks to get to the view, but it's worth it. If you're middle-aged and out of shape like I am, bring good shoes and water because it's a decent challenge. I'm happy I hiked this trail, but my legs are sore this morning!

11 months ago

definitely not an easy walk...be prepared for some wet rocky sections. It is fun and pretty

Great hike but intense if you continue to go past the original route. This can be a much longer hike. Past the paved part it gets intense

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