Nature Walks

walking trail

Trail Descriptions

The Woods Walk

Circumscribing the attraction’s picnic area on the lower slopes of the mountain, the Woods Walk offers visitors a leisurely 4/10 mile loop through mature Appalachian forest. The trailhead is located in the picnic area (first right after you enter the Gate).

With very gradual grades and wide paths, this path will appeal to guests who are looking for a casual encounter with nature. At least 64 different flower and plant species grow at trailside, as well as 19 tree types.

The Black Rock Nature Trail

This self-guided nature trail begins at the Hiker’s Parking Area (three curves below the summit) and slopes out gradually to a wide angle view of the Swinging Bridge, MacRae and Attic Window Peaks, as well as Beacon Heights and Grandmother Mountain to the southwest.

The gradual, moderately rocky trail runs out a mile through northern hardwood and spruce forests and, most any time of year, through neighborhoods of songbirds.  Allow 2 hours round trip.

The Bridge Trail

The Bridge Trail also begins at Hiker’s Parking Area and moves quickly into a natural area where visitors can walk through red and white rhododendron, galax, red spruce, Fraser fir, and yellow birch. Four-tenths of a mile in length, the trail switchbacks up the mountain, traveling under the Swinging Bridge before ending at the Top Shop Visitor Center. You’ll be awed by the massive rock outcroppings on this trail. Allow 20 minutes each way.

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  • I picked up my 6 year old son from school  and asked him if he could guess where I was gonna take him to spend the weekend. With eyes big and wide he asked, Grandfather Mt? I have never seen him get so happy. Or should I say, pumped up to the max. He thanked me over and over again, while packing for the night in the wild. As with most things in life can be, this was a gift that did not fade away or break like most  presents after minutes of play.  As we got closer  to the top he expressed his deepest thanks, I saw my boy grow up this weekend. I pushed him and he pushed me and together we made it all the way from 105 to the Swinging Bridge.  "Get Out More.  Make memories, not regrets."
    Ryan
    Sugar Mtn, NC
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