Black Rock Cliffs on Grandfather Mountain
A couple of weeks ago, the Bridge to Bridge cyclists stormed Grandfather Mountain, the apex of their century ride. If you are a cyclist and enjoy riding one hundred miles along scenic roads and up mountains, be sure to look into the 2010 Bridge to Bridge ride. In the meantime, Grandfather Mountain has much to offer locals and visitors alike. It is one of our favorite spots to send folks staying at our Blue Ridge Parkway cabins.
Grandfather Mountain is privately owned, but it is graciously shared and is open to the public. It rises nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, which is pretty darn high for these parts and makes for spectacular views. Visitors are invited (for a fee) to drive through the preserve and stop for a picnic at one of over 100 beautifully situated picnic tables. If you forget your own food, you may purchase tasty fried chicken or sandwiches from the museum restaurant.
After you have refreshed yourself, plan to tackle some of more than twelve miles of trails throughout the preserve; they provide hikers with ample opportunities to spot deer, eagles, river otters, cougars and black bears in their native habitat. The trails are well-maintained, and range in difficulty to suit any level of hiker.
If you prefer to learn about nature and animals without a long walk, you are in luck. Grandfather Mountain houses an excellent nature museum, full of interesting fact about the area and the plants and animals who live here. It also includes interesting facts about the history of the region and Grandfather Mountain.
The Mile High Swinging Bridge draws many a brave soul, and indeed, it is not for the faint of heart. The name says it all, but you can only imagine the views and the sensation.
Guests of our Blue Ridge Parkway resort always enjoy a trip to Grandfather Mountain, as do we. Be sure to make time to visit it the next time you stay with us. The fall foliage at Grandfather Mountain is at its peak now through the end of October. Don’t miss it.