Explore the most popular views 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.

Rocky with many roots but good workout. Nice panorama view at end.

A rocky and winding pathway, wide enough and well maintained for a hike from the parking lot to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. As easy hike as well.

8 days ago

This hike was awesome but I would rate it as strenuous. Lots of bouldering and rocks are slippery in places. The cables and ladders are great. The views, especially at Raven rocks are simply stupendous. I would give yourself 3-4 hours and take it slow. Don’t bring hiking poles as you need your hands free. It’s well worth the hike.

Very well-maintained and challenging trail. We (three 50+ year-old ladies) hiked GFM Trail yesterday; started at the parking lot for the swinging bridge, climbed to McCraes Peak, then on the advice of other hikers took Underwood Trail back to GFM Trail to return to our car. We are regular exercisers who are training for a Grand Canyon hike in October, and only hike occasionally. Although challenging mentally and physically (we climbed 10 ladders total, I believe, and relied on cables to pull ourselves along a few slippery spots), we had good hiking shoes with good tread (essential), plenty of water and comfortable backpacks. Conditions were very wet yesterday and a thunderstorm was predicted in the afternoon. We had intended to climb to Calloway Peak but decided to shorten our hike due to the storm. The trail took much longer than we expected, since rocks were slippery. Took us 4 hours. We will be back to accomplish this one in better conditions! Be prepared to pay $20 per person (ouch!) to enter the park on the side where the swinging bridge is, otherwise do the Profile trail to park for free (a longer hike). I think there were 7 or 8 ladders going up the way we did, but only 2 going down since we used Underwood Trail to return. Best hike yet and amazing views!

I only spent 3 months living in North Carolina, but as a native westerner, I was impressed at the natural terrain I found in this part of the Appalachians. Grandfather mountain comes close, in a few ways , to the foothill type peaks I have around my home in North Idaho, but with even more lush and green scenery surrounding it. Being very developed, the trail head is easy to find, and the main challenges are steepness of the ascent and (certain times of year) slippery rocks and exposed roots. This is not a trail area for out of shape people, but with proper pacing, it can be done. Prepare for some scrambling in sections, but a benefit is that there are many potential view points once you get up top. In September, when I visited, it was misty and moist, but not cold, which made for some great hiking weather, but less than ideal under foot conditions. Heartily reccomend this trail.

Wow! My husband and I hiked this trail today. We knew it would be good but we didn’t know it would be as beautiful as it was! It’s hard and takes time but it’s so worth it!! Wear good hiking shoes and bring water.

18 days ago

very very hard high scary but worth the views

You get a little bit of everything with this hike. Views, bouldering, and a great workout. Took us a little under 5 hours with plenty of stops to sit and look out at the scenery. Be ready for ladders.

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!!!!

1 month 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."

2 months 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.

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