Red maples brighten the road to the top of Grandfather Mountain. (Photo by Frank Ruggiero)

In the early 20th century, there was only a horseback trail leading up Grandfather Mountain to the overlook now known as Cliffside. This was eventually widened into a car-friendly, one-lane road, with Cliffside being the highest point visitors could drive up the mountain at the time. In 1952, Grandfather Mountain owner Hugh Morton fulfilled his dream of building a road to the summit and a suspension bridge to Linville Peak — the world-famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.