Explore the most popular birding trails near Linville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Absolutely one of the best places to hike! It’s got bouldering, scenic views, more moderate trails as well as very challenging ones

I only hiked to Macrae's Peak. It was beautiful and well-maintained. Definitely challenging though and I would recommend that you wear a good pair of tennis shoes with grip. some of the ladders are nerve-wracking if you are scared of heights, but really aren't that bad. I would recommend being in good shape. It's worth the $20 fee to get into the park! Just know that you have to be back by 6 pm.

Great Hike, the best I have done in a long, long time. It is very hard at the end, you need to be in pretty good physical shape. Ladder 6 is the tricky one, and going down is more difficult than up, of course. The views are outstanding, and the hike is fun as hell. The guy below me is commenting on some other hike, not this one. This hike is a class 4, and takes 2-3 hours. NOT DOG FRIENDLY! It's possible you could get a mellow dog up the 6th ladder, but you are not getting him down GFM unless he is strapped to your back. We witnessed several folks attempting to do this and they wisely gave up.

light to moderate. great 20 min hike.

Challenging hike. But the views are definitely worth it.

Fun and very challenging trail. Need to be in good physical condition for this. Best to do on a dry day.
We hiked up Profile Trail to Calloway Peak then took Grandfather Trail (and Bridge Trail) back to some friends car. Therefore, we only went one direction on Grandfather (Calloway to Swinging Bridge).
Looking forward to doing the complete out and back as well as Daniel Boone Trail.

Did this trail July 7th in the clouds and rain. Started at the bridge and Made it up all the ladders and about 1/2 mile past the intersection of the Underwood trail before we turned around. We took Underwood trail back to the bridge.

Very fun trail. I counted 8-9 ladders up and 1 place you have to use the rope (cable) to go up and another you use a rope to go down. There is also a giant rock scramble right after the Underwood trail intersection. Coming down Underwood there is 1 ladder to come down (much easier than coming down the grandfather trail)

While it was extra challenging when wet and rainy, still worthwhile. Bring any type of gloves to help keep your hands clean when climbing the ladders or rock scrambles.

Never was scared or felt unsafe. But it has quite a number of challenging parts that are beyond what most people would consider “hiking”

Gorgeous! I had no idea this was there- trail is about a mile then you can continue on tawanhana or put a foot on the parkway or return to linn cove parking lot

Beautiful views, challenging climb, took 5 hours which included lunch break and a couple other breaks. Ladders up steep slopes are scary but very well built so not as bad as they looked. Wouldn’t recommend bringing a dog because of the ladders.

Nice attraction. It could make you nervous if you don’t care for heights

Ladder, ropes, and steep climbs. This is a technical hike and an incredibly rewarding one. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS HIKE IF YOU AREN"T IN GOOD SHAPE. This trail is attempted by people all the time who have to turn around or be rescued. That being said, this trail will take you to the top of grandfather mountain proper and has some truly incredible views on the way. Be ready to rock scramble and climb. I recommend tennis shoes over boots on this, no reason to get a blister when you don't have to.

Great hike!! It has a lot of shaded areas with a cool breeze which is nice during the hot summer. When people mention to bring good shoes, they aren't kidding. It can be a bit difficult coming down as the rocks are slippery. It was a pretty simple hike with many great views. Easy if you're in somewhat good shape. 3 hours-ish time total. Definitely go to both Peaks!! Not dog friendly!!!!

24 days ago

great views

I hiked this about a week ago. The weather was very cloudy and a misty rain occurred briefly. We had the mountain to ourselves, possibly due to the weather. This was the best hike I’ve ever done. WEAR PROPER HIKING SHOES it is slippery and steep. I took grandfather trail to MacRae peak and took the Underwood trail back. It took almost 3 hours round trip. The trail starts with climbing steep rocks and doesn’t get easier. I am short so I had to climb with hands and feet in many parts. This trail is strenuous but doable. If you do have back, knee, elbow etc issues, I wouldn’t attempt this. The ladders toward the top and the small ledge I had to walk on was a challenge due to the height. I am a little scared of heights ( but more afraid of falling) and this part of the hike was tough for me- but I did it! Unfortunately due to the cloud coverage we didn’t have any views but it was beautiful none the less. I was not an experienced hiker but in good shape and was able to complete the trail. I can’t wait to do it again on a clear day. The entry fee is $20 per person. I feel the hike alone is worth the money but it includes a CD that has info on the mountain, a cultural center, walking on the swinging bridge and a few animal exhibits .

Most awesome trail ever! So much fun great views. Very technical. Not for amateurs. The most rewarding couple of miles! The trail on to Calloway is so strenuous. Large rocks, steep climbs. Lots of effort= lots of rewards

Scary at times but what spectacular views!

My wife and I hiked Grandfather Mountain trail this morning from the beginning at the trailhead at the swinging bridge to Calloway Peak and back. Hands down the most demanding and exciting hike we have done in the Upstate SC and Western NC area. Took about 4 hours but we walk fast. If you are afraid of heights this is not for you. The painted blue blazes could use another coat right about now.

A real treasure of a hike. Well maintained trails with minimal evidence of human involvement. Plenty of great views, and only encountered other hikers on the trail every 30 minutes or so. Lots of opportunities to crawl up rocks on hands and feet. Glad I didn't have my young kids or dog with me. Would have been too many big drops and too technical a hike to be able relax with them.

Second Time around, several years later and still love this one. Challenging with ladders and cables to get up and down in a couple places. It rained twice after beginning at 80 degrees. Went from 80 to 50 in a few minutes, then the wind. Then 80 again a little while later. Slick in spots due to the rain. Great day on the trail. Smaller little hikes around the state park also. Forest Gump was filmed jogging here. Animal enclosures, nature center are the reason for the charge. Hike alone is worth $20 with the views. The history of the mountain is on display on the second floor of the "top shop."

1 month 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.

This is my favorite hike! Highly recommend hiking shoes or something with grip, because the terrain tends to be slippery and steep. The view was breath-taking and it's also fun to see the petting zoo and the bridge.

Awesome trail with a challenge and spectacular views. It rained the night before so the trail was wet but it wasn’t too bad. Wear shoes with grip and bring water and a camera. We got to shanty spring and went down, only to find we had to come back up unless we wanted to continue on profile trail. This was the most strenuous wrong turn we took! About 5 miles there and back, very tired and we are pretty in shape. This state park observed military and discounted our entrance fee too.

I want go out to hiking, anyone want go with me ? I need a partner. send me a message if you interested. Thanks.

This hike is very challenging, but has awesome views and is well marked.

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?

Such a beautiful trail. When you combine this with the profile to calloway peak trail you have one challenging hike. Barefoot friendly but you will get some looks.
The trail itself has many challenging sections and ladders that only allow for a single person to go at a time.
Dogs would struggle with this trail

Without a doubt worth the $20 admission fee. You get the hike, the mile high swinging bridge, and the mini zoo. Not to mention your money goes towards preserving the state park.

The views you get on this hike are truly spectacular. We went the day after it snowed and was very windy. All of the trees in the morning had an inch of snow sticking out perpendicular to the ground, made for some awesome pictures. The snow melted as the day went on which made for some muddy conditions, but overall was a very well kept trail.

My wife and I are experienced hikers and were able to complete this hike in about 5 hours. Many others we passed were well past that mark though. Thee ladders and chains make for some slow going at times, and much of the trail is stepping from rock to rock. You should absolutely take the ladders up to MacRae Peak, you are rewarded with 360 degree unobstructed views.

Just remember that this is a mountain hike where the temps will be much cooler, and that the weather can change drastically. Bring lots of water, and food for a picnic on one of the many lookouts. You will not be disappointed.

I don't write review but I think it's ridiculous people are giving one star or three star reviews because they:

A) didn't do their research
B) are too cheap to support state parks

These trails are amazing, but shouldn't be taken lightly. The park and zoo are worth $20 (if you're from the area they also have dollar days in April if you bring proof of residency)

Great short hike, conditions definitely made a big difference in how tough the trail was. My wife had a tough time with the rocks due to the water.

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

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