Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is one of the nation's remaining natural beauties visited annually by hikers, naturalists, and tourists alike. Grandfather Mountain is a unique attraction because it provides so many opportunities for learning about the High Country and the natural world. As home to 16 ecosystems and several rare and endangered species of animals, Grandfather Mountain is truly a haven for its inhabitants.

To observe Grandfather Mountain's wildlife in a safe way, while still being "up close and personal", Grandfather Mountain has created environmental habitats where visitors can view animals such as black bears, cougars, bald eagles, golden eagles, and white-tailed deer in large natural enclosures. Visitors can even view some of Grandfather Mountain's very own river otter population from above and under the water!

For those whose passion is in athletics more than observation, Grandfather Mountain's plentiful trail system has something for everyone. From Grandfather Mountain's leisurely mild in-park trail system to Grandfather Mountain's challenging, multi-mile Profile Trail, hiking enthusiasts of all levels will enjoy their time in this well-preserved sanctuary. Hikers are welcomed at Grandfather Mountain, but strict parking regulations and permit rules are enforced, so be sure to contact Grandfather Mountain's visitor center before embarking on your journey through the extensive backcountry.

Still, who could forget the views that have made Grandfather Mountain famous to all? The mile-high swinging bridge, designed by a Greensboro architect and originally erected in 1952, sits atop the highest peak on Grandfather Mountain and stretches across the 80 foot chasm. The suspension bridge, constructed mostly of galvanized steel, offers unobstructed views of Grandfather Mountain and much of the High Country. This breathtaking experience has been the highlight of many vacations, and no visit to Grandfather Mountain would be complete without traversing its heights.

Grandfather Mountain is included as a partner in the Nature Conservancy and prides itself on being the single largest location in North Carolina's system. Grandfather Mountain's caretakers have worked diligently to ensure its ecosystems and wildlife, while open for public observation, have remained intact and protected against pollution and construction from the outside world. Grandfather Mountain welcomes visitors who wish to be a part of nature at its best.

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