Part education. Part perspiration. Totally fun.
We all know that scouting is more than earning badges—it’s also about discovering the wonders of our world. At Grandfather Mountain, you can do both on a very grand scale. Push limits and soar to new heights while forming friendships and memories to last a lifetime.
When you visit as a scout troop, your options are plentiful! Scout groups can choose from the list of school educational programs or contact the Education Staff to arrange a customized program to work toward a badge. We encourage scout leaders to call and discuss their specific needs so that we can develop a guided hike or program just for you.
In addition to the educational programs these programs and hikes will open all kinds of new worlds to scouts:
Woods Walk – Animal Discovery: This short, looped hike will allow scouts to delve into nature, uncovering the hidden places in a forest that animals call their home, and finding out what they need to survive. This is a great discovery hike that highlights many different animals and plants.
Nature Near the Swinging Bridge: Learn about the rare and endangered plants and animals found on Grandfather Mountain, and the history of how we became a not-for-profit organization.
Bridge Trail Hike: This hike is for older scouts ages 10+, as we hike 0.4 miles with a 300-ft elevation climb. Along the trail of this ecology-focused hike, we’ll talk about the ecosystems we pass through, moving from a Northern Hardwood Forest to a Spruce Fir Forest.
Trees and Shrubs of the Southern Appalachian Mountains: Another hike geared towards older scouts ages 10+, this program leads the group up part of the Extension Trail. We’ll discuss what makes the area unique to all parts of the world, focusing on our great diversity of trees and shrubs.
Orienteering: Scouts discuss the basics of orienteering, learning how to find their way with a compass and a map. This program is designed for scouts ages 10+.
Butterfly Program: Offered during the summer and fall. This hands-on program gets scouts looking, catching and learning about this beautiful insect. We’ll cover the ins and outs of how butterflies hide, how they trick and evade predators, their amazing life cycle and how important their survival is to us.
Salamander Program: Offered from spring to fall. Scouts will hike along the Woods Walk, learning where to look for salamanders, how to find them and properly handle them, and how to put them safely back into their environment. We talk about all the different salamanders found here on the mountain and hopefully find a few!
Bug’s World: Discover the world under your feet! This program get scouts out digging in the ground and shifting through leaves and dirt to get an up-close look at the tiny world of decomposers.
In addition to the programs above, we can turn any of these topics into the perfect program for your scout group. Please call the Director of Education Jesse Pope, 828-733-3224, to discuss programming.
Please note that program fees depend on the activity. The duration of the program, materials used, and location are taken into consideration.
If you have questions about hiking at Grandfather Mountain during your visit, please call the Interpretive Rangers Office at 828-737-0833.
Because sharp curves near the top of the mountain restrict commercial motor coaches and some school buses to the lower part of the mountain, Grandfather provides free shuttle service to the top in its own buses. Reservations for the shuttle buses are required.
Motor coaches or buses longer than 28′ are not allowed in the park on weekends. No exceptions will be made.