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#2 of 42 state parks in North Carolina

Best trails in Grandfather Mountain State Park

2993 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina? AllTrails has 12 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 7 hard trails in Grandfather Mountain State Park ranging from 3.5 to 10.8 miles and from 3,897 to 5,918 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in Grandfather Mountain State Park
Park information
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Contact
(828) 963-9522
Helpful links
Top trails (12)
#1 - Rough Ridge
Grandfather Mountain State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(854)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 29 m
Rough Ridge is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used fShow more
#2 - Calloway Peak via Profile Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(887)
Length: 7.6 mi • Est. 4 h 40 m
"West Side" of Grandfather Mountain, the Profile Trail starts at the trailhead on Route 105 in Banner Elk, NC, and climbs almost 2000 feet to connect to the Grandfather Trail. Permits available at trShow more
#3 - Grandfather Mountain Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(576)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 38 m
One of the most technical mountain hikes without climbing equipment east of the Mississippi, Grandfather Mountain trail traverses forest, exposed cliffs, rock outcroppings, ladders and attached cablesShow more
#4 - Calloway Peak and MacRae Peak via Profile Trail and Grandfather Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(138)
Length: 10.7 mi • Est. 6 h 25 m
Difficult, technically challenging trail. This route has lots of bouldering with challenging sections to get up and down some big rocks. Extremely exciting, with amazing views, this trail is well wortShow more
#5 - Flat Rock View via Nuwati and Cragway Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(149)
Length: 3.5 mi • Est. 2 h 7 m
Steep hike with nice vistas. Boulders and crags offer elevated views of the Boone Fork area. Trail links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout trails, making a nice loop hike passing through rhododendron and Show more
#6 - Raven Rocks Loop
Grandfather Mountain State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(84)
Length: 1.8 mi • Est. 1 h 13 m
Raven Rocks Loop is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Linville, North Carolina that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of actiShow more
#7 - Nuwati Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(128)
Length: 3 mi • Est. 1 h 35 m
Nuwati or "medicine" in the Cherokee language follows an old logging road. It's easy and rocky, ending at Storyteller's Rock and a great view of the Boone area. Trail has stream crossings, big-tooth aShow more
#8 - Grandfather Mountain to Boone Fork
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9)
Length: 10 mi • Est. 4 h 59 m
Park at the top of Grandfather Mountain, hike to Boone Fork Parking area. Show more
#9 - Black Rock Nature Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(54)
Length: 1.7 mi • Est. 53 m
This moderately sloped and rocky trail runs out a mile through northern hardwood and spruce forests. It leads to Black Rock, with great views of the Swinging Bridge, MacRae and Attic Window Peaks, asShow more
#10 - Grandfather Mountain via Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Grandfather Trail
Grandfather Mountain State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 10.8 mi • Est. 6 h 47 m
Grandfather Mountain via Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Grandfather Trail is a 10.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Blowing Rock, North Carolina that features beautiful wild fShow more
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