Candler, NC (high 75, low 53)
There are so many different things to do in this area, that it’s hard to choose. You could be here months and not run out of things to see.
Today, we decided to head east towards Grandfather Mountain.
It was a beautiful drive with lots of Christmas tree farms.
Charles Kuralt picked the best places to be each month of the year, and he picked Grandfather Mountain as he best place to be in the month of May. It is an amazing place in September, too. I’ll bet it will be gorgeous when the fall colors come out. We just might have to stay around and see for ourselves.
It’s a lovely park with plenty to do and see for everyone. You can easily spend the day. It costs $18 per person, or $15 if you are over 60. It’s money well spent, in our opinion.
You enter the park at the base of the mountain and drive a zig zag road right up another 1000 feet. It’s a little scary for flatlander Floridians like us, but we made it. I have to admit I had to close my eyes a few times.
There were a few scenic overlooks and picnic areas on the way up.
There is also a wildlife refuge for some animals that had been injured or needed to be there for some other reason.
They had amazing habitats, and appeared to be well cared for.
Everywhere you looked, it was beautiful.
or just plain cute!
They had a café with some outdoor seating and some bird feeders. It was a beautiful place to just sit, take in the view and watch the birds.
You could eat inside or outside.
They had this elaborate design for a squirrel proof bird feeder. See how well it worked?
There were some exhibits to see, but we didn’t stay too long. It was just too nice of a day to spend inside, then there was a swinging bridge waiting for us.
We got back in the truck and continued our climb to climb to the top. (I tried to keep my eyes open)
elevation over 5000 feet. yikes.
You know you’re high when the clouds are touching the tops of the mountains.
Up on top of the mountain awaited a mile high swinging bridge. I knew I wanted to walk over it, but I wasn’t sure I could work up the courage. I have a slight? fear of heights.
As we approached it, I realized it wasn’t as scary as some I’ve seen and I felt sure I could walk across it. One poor woman who met us on the way back was having a bit of trouble though!
yep..a mile high 5280 feet . It was a short bridge and you couldn’t see down between the slats, so it wasn’t scary.
The views were spectacular.
Some brave people continued the climb and enjoyed the view from the very top. Not me, and not Al!
After the walk over the bridge, we decided to stop and eat our lunch that we had brought from home.
There are a lot of nice little picnic areas.
After lunch, we found a beautiful little hiking path through the forest.
It was full of these beautiful flowers. Nettles, I think.
It was a wonderful day, and we’re looking forward to more exploring tomorrow.