Hiking & Walking Trails
Explore trails for all fitness levels on Grandfather Mountain. Our network of nature walks and trails take you through gentle forests and meadows or atop rugged peaks accessed by ladders and cables. Either way, experience wildlife and breathtaking views for which Grandfather is famous.
Grandfather is part of the United Nation’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Our forests are typical of Canadian climates and home to 16 distinct natural ecosystems. The mountain is home to 73 rare or endangered species, including 32 that are globally imperiled. Visit our Wilson Center for Nature Discovery for more or attend of our free daily programs.
Easy / Moderate Hikes: Perfect for Families
Find several shorter nature excursions accessed from the road to the summit. These trails allow you to get out in nature without requiring a long and strenuous commitment. Click on the name for each for a detailed guide.
- Woods Walk: Looping from a picnic area near the entrance gate, it’s perfect for an easy woodlands stroll. 0.4 mile
- Bridge Trail: Begins at the Black Rock Parking Area and ends by the Top Shop at the Mile High Swinging Bridge. 0.4 mile each way
- Black Rock Trail: Very scenic trail that begins at the Black Rock Parking Area and ends with scenic views from atop a rock outcropping. 1 mile each way
- Grandfather Loop: Create a 1.5-mile loop hike by connecting several trails above 5,000 ft.
- Mile High Swinging Bridge: From the top parking area, take a few flights of steps or ride the elevator to a short path. For the more adventurous, continue out on the rock cliffs for spectacular views atop Linville Peak. Read more.
Technical / Strenuous Hike: Grandfather Trail along Crest
Grandfather Trail: This 2.4-mile challenging trek is for experienced hikers, since there are areas of rocky cliffs where progress is hand-over-hand, with cables and ladders. Climb across rugged peaks of Grandfather, including our highest point at Calloway Peak at 5,946 feet. Read more.
Backcountry Hiking in Grandfather State Park
Find additional trails, including the popular Profile Trail (west side) and Daniel Boone Scout Trail (east side) with separate trailheads from the state park access and Blue Ridge Parkway. Read more about Backcountry hikes.
Know Before You Go
- See our full list of Hiking Tips.
- Hiking trails are subject to weather-related closings. For the most up-to-date information on trail closures, please call our Entrance Gate at 828-733-4337.
- See ticket rates, hours and online booking.
- Check the weather the week before, week of, days before, the day of and even right before you begin your hike. Weather changes quickly here. Read more about our weather.
- Hiking in November through March? See our Winter Hiking Tips.
- See mobile-friendly trail map.
- Download the Grandfather Mountain State Park Trail Map (PDF)
- Hiking trails close one hour prior to the park’s closing, with the exception of the month of October when trails sometimes close earlier. See operating hours here. If there is an emergency or you cannot make it back to your car by closing, please call 828-733-2800 (Top Shop), 828-733-4337 (Gate) or 828-733-1059 (Wilson Center for Nature Discovery) as soon as possible to notify Grandfather Mountain staff. If you do not call, we will send out a search party.
- No camping is allowed inside the Foundation property. For backcountry camping, find options at Grandfather Mountain State Park.