Grandfather Mountain Highland Games return July 12-15

Scotland returns to Grandfather Mountain July 12-15 for the 63rd annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Boasting bagpipes, Scottish athletics, Highland melodies, Celtic cuisine, crafts aplenty and tons of tartans, the Games hearken back to the rich cultural traditions of Scotland in a setting not so different from the mountains and glens some 3,600 miles away.

Grandfather unveils new Woods Walk interpretive signage

With the help of a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the Woods Walk nature trail now features brand-new interpretive signage, informing hikers of the forest’s many wonders and inviting them to engage with the natural world around them.

Conservationist Tom Butler to speak at Grandfather Mountain

This June, Grandfather Mountain is encouraging folks to embrace their inner eco-hero. To assist, celebrated conservationist, activist and writer Tom Butler will present at Grandfather Mountain on Thursday, June 21. His presentation is part of Grandfather Mountain’s after-hour lecture series, Grandfather Presents.

Grandfather Mountain’s Animal Birthday Party returns June 13

This June, visitors to Grandfather Mountain will be able to meet some true party animals. On Wednesday, June 13, the Linville, N.C.-based nature park will host its annual Animal Birthday Party, a day of celebration and special events designed to honor the black bears, bald eagles, river otters, cougars and elk that call Grandfather Mountain home.

The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble

Few plants signify “summer” in the mountains quite like the vivid pink Catawba rhododendron, and Grandfather Mountain is center stage for the spectacular annual show. To showcase the beauty and significance of this native plant, Grandfather Mountain naturalists will host the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble from June 1-9, featuring guided excursions June 1-8 and a native plant celebrate June 9.

Grandfather Mountain open despite U.S. 221 closure

Grandfather Mountain remains open, despite flood damage to U.S. 221. Recent heavy rains and flash-flooding washed out a portion of U.S. 221 between Linville and Blowing Rock, approximately 2 miles north of the Grandfather Mountain Entrance Gate. According to officials, the damaged section of the highway will be closed indefinitely. Fortunately, the most frequently traveled routes remain open. Visitors from the Boone and Blowing Rock areas may take N.C. 105 South to U.S. 221 North, while those traveling from Asheville can follow U.S. 221 North directly to Grandfather Mountain’s Entrance Gate.

‘Dollar Days’ begin April 1 at Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain opens its gates to High Country residents, employees and their guests for only $3 each throughout April as part of “Dollar Days.” The month offers plenty to do inside the park, including the return of animal encounter sessions, the seasonal reopening of the Fudge Shop, discounted Behind-the-Scenes Habitat Tours and the return of naturalist programs later in the month.

Nature Photography Weekend registration opens April 2

Online registration begins Monday, April 2, for Grandfather Mountain’s annual Nature Photography Weekend, a three-day workshop for photographers of all skill levels, taking place June 1 to 3 on the mountain. The event features presentations from renowned photographers, spectacular shooting opportunities on the mountain and a friendly, but competitive (and optional), photo contest.

Grandfather Mountain open during viaduct closing

With the Linn Cove Viaduct closing for maintenance from March through May, many Blue Ridge Parkway travelers are wondering how they’ll get to Grandfather Mountain. Fortunately, options abound.

Grandfather offers after-hours programs, educator workshops

Wonders never cease at Grandfather Mountain—even after business hours. The Linville, N.C.-based nonprofit nature preserve and attraction is bringing back its Grandfather Presents evening lecture series for 2018, along with numerous other educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Grandfather Mountain presents Adult Field Courses

At Grandfather Mountain, education is literally a top priority. After all, when your classroom is a mile high, the sky is the limit. Even for grown-ups. The Linville, N.C.-based nature preserve and attraction is bringing its Adult Field Courses series back for 2018, offering participants the chance to explore Grandfather Mountain like never before.

Uno the River Otter joins Grandfather Mountain family

Things are looking up for a certain pup.

Uno, a North American river otter, has joined the Grandfather Mountain family. The otter pup came to the mountain in November 2017, having been found orphaned in the Asheville area earlier that year. In April, he was brought to a Lincolnton, N.C.-based wildlife rehabilitator, the same who helped rehabilitate four of Grandfather’s other river otters.

Grandfather Mountain selects elk names and contest winner

Elk have arrived at Grandfather Mountain, just in time for the mountain’s habitat keepers to select the winning names in the 2017 Elk Naming Contest. The elk, which arrived Thursday, Dec. 7, are officially named Doc, Merle and Watson — after world-famous bluegrass/folk icons and High Country natives Doc and Merle Watson — thanks to a submission from Sharon Webb, of Charlotte, N.C.

Holidays bring Dollar Days, discounts, shopping and more

With winter on the way, Grandfather Mountain is decking its halls — and hills — for the holidays. Visitors are invited to celebrate the season from a mile high, where they’ll encounter idyllic winter scenery, invigorating outdoor adventure and more at the Linville, N.C., nature preserve and attraction.

Grandfather Mountain introduces new cougars

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Grandfather Mountain introduced its newest Western cougars to the public. Named Logan and Trinity, the sibling duo is now on display in the park’s environmental wildlife habitats. The Linville, N.C.-based nature preserve and attraction adopted the brother-and-sister cubs in March 2016, after they’d been orphaned in the wilds of Idaho before they could learn to hunt.

Elk are coming to Grandfather, naming contest begins Nov. 17

This December, Grandfather Mountain will welcome some new residents to its environmental wildlife habitats. The nonprofit nature preserve and attraction has adopted three male elk — a bachelor herd — to reside in an all-new habitat. After the park’s resident white-tailed deer passed away earlier this year, the habitat underwent significant renovations to accommodate these new residents.


Starting Nov. 6, Grandfather Mountain will be switching to its winter hours of operation. The park will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and ticket sales will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Parkway and 221

Parkway and 221

Stray leaves and reflected pinpoints of sunshine create a dazzling galaxy in a pool of water…



A milkweed plant in nearby Pineola assumes its autumnal form. The plant is named for its milky…

Linville River

Linville River

Fall color frames the Linville River, this section located in Grandfather Mountain’s hometown…

Hwy. 221 Overlook

Hwy. 221 Overlook

An overlook off of scenic U.S. Hwy. 221 showcases fall splendor in the High Country. With much…

Stack Rock View

Stack Rock View

Stack Rock Creek takes a dip through fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Colors are…

Stack Rock & 221

Stack Rock & 221

Colorfully crisp fall foliage lines the ridge between Stack Rock (Milepost 308.4) and the U.S….

Linville River Bridge

Linville River Bridge

Golden leaves cross the Linville River Bridge, located near Milepost 316 on the Blue Ridge…

Price Lake

Price Lake

Fall foliage adds a spot of brightness to a rainy day on Price Lake, located at Milepost 296.7…