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 just wanted to say that Grandfather Mountain is truly one of the most beautiful places to visit! Last year on a vacation to the Apple Festival in Wilkesboro, my fiancee decided that the Mile High Swinging Bridge would be the perfect place to pop the question! We were half way across when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was beautiful!
    Albemarle, NC
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