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Grandfather Mountain State Park

  • 9872 North Carolina 105, Banner Elk, NC 28604
  • (828) 963-9522
  • www.ncparks.gov


Twin Falls

beautiful with lots to offer - hiking, animals, gift shop and information area.

Cecile E

Nice place to visit. Nice views. Hanging bridge. local wildlife. Feed the bears.

Mary P

No visit is complete without a visit to Grandfather Mtn. The views are amazing. There is a welcome center with restaurant and gift shop. There is a movie telling how this area was created. There is a wildlife viewing area. The bears are almost always out putting on a show. There is an area where otters can be seen above and below the water. The swinging bridge has been redone and does not swing as much as it used to! This is not cheap! They charge by the head! The restaurant is OK. Pack a lunch and plan to spend the day!

Barbara Y

Grandfather Mountain State Park is a twenty minute drive from my cabin and has great attractions for families visiting the High Country including a wildlife zoo, dozens of trails ranging in difficulty, the famous Mile High Bridge, and panoramic views of the blue ridge mountains.

Renee R

An absolute must if you're in to beauty and wildlife. If you're brave, you'll cross the mile high swinging bridge and if you're in shape, you can hike the trails from the base of the mountain, all the way up.

Susan J

Fantastic way to spend a day !
We usually take a packed lunch and hike on one of their many trails. Check out the Swinging Bridge, visit the gift shop, museum and nature habitat with Bears, Cougars, Elk, Eagles and even Otters !

Dan F

This park is a great place to take the kids to see the zoo or cross the mile high bridge. You can spend the entire day up there. Good ice cream and fudge in the summer! Go on a clear day so you can see the incredible views.


Grandfather Mountain is an awesome place to hike that is incredibly freezing, even in late fall. Its altitude is intense but it’s well worth the trip for the views.

Arianne M

A really amazing nearby natural wonder! The mile high swinging bridge offers amazing views of the surrounding blue ridge mountains, plus they have wild animal exhibits, a natural history museum, hiking trails, and -to top it off -a fudge shop! Really a must-do for this area.

Elmer & Regina

One of the oldest mountain ranges on the planet. Amazing 360 degree views of the mountains.

Diane K

Mile High Swinging Bridge is an adventure you don't want to miss. And don't forget to stop in the gift shop for some tasty fudge!


You will find the Mile High Swing bridge at the park, and a wildlife habitat. I love hiking in this park and stopping to picnic along one of the many trails.

Terri L

Grandfather Mountain offers some spectacular views, trails and habitat for bear, ottor, cougar, bald eagle and elk.

Dixon L

Grandfather Mountain is a must see while you are here.... Yes you have a beautiful view of it from KastleRock However, the Zoo and swinging bridge is amazing...

Richard R

Several picnic areas, Mile High Swinging Bridge, Nature Museum & restaurant, Walking and hiking trails.

Nick G

Beautiful Views and about 40 minutes away.
Has many things to offer, we have a brochure and a informational CD at the house.

A fairly easy hike even for kids, but they also have parking at the top of the mountain.
There is a small suspension bridge at the top which is great for pictures with an elevation of 1 mile high.

Kristi D

Lots to do here! There are hiking trails, picnic area, grill, fudge and ice cream for sale. You can watch animal encounters, from otters to eagles to bears!


Mountain trails combined with a wonderful nature center. This location is a wonderful family event.

Tŷ Nant Cottage

I write with total honesty when I say that even writing about Grandfather Mountain puts a beaming smile on my face. This is one of our absolute favorite places to visit on our vacations in WNC and we return every year, hiking a little further each time. This is an adventurous, difficult, gnarly hike with ladders, ropes, narrow ledges, great peaks and sensational views. But most of all, it’s given our family memories of joy and achievement. It’s also provided us with some of our most memorable and viewed photographs.
We drive up to the Trails Parking Area and start on the Grandfather Trail Extension which joins the main Grandfather Trail (turning right to continue up the mountain). On our first visit we reached the ladders below MacRae Peak and on our second we reached MacRae peak itself. The following year we reached Attic Window. We always return via the Underwood Trail which has a single long ladder but is a rather technical route underfoot.
If you want to have a picnic on top of the world, then sit at the top of MacRae peak and break out the food and drink, the world will seem very small from up there.
If you have a dog who likes to hike, we spoke with a Ranger last year who told us that only 1% of all dogs make it past the ladders. We have a small Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Tilly (who loves to hike) and is small enough for us to carry up the ladders, so be mindful of this if you have a large animal and are thinking of taking them.

Whether you hike the trails or not, simply visiting this state park is wonderful as there are things to do for the non-hikers and climbers. The park offers the famous 1-mile-high Singing Bridge, amazing views as you drive to the top parking lot, the now famous Forest Gump bend, named after a scene from the movie shot at the park, a couple of good gift shops, a restaurant and a small zoo with bears and other native creatures.

Maria P

within 10 minutes of our community. Great for the whole family. Amazing views!

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