Friday, September 14, 2012

Grandfather Mountain

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.

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.

overlook at on the road up grandfather mountain


Large boulders.

Grandfather mountain

pretty flowers

Grandfather mountain

There is also a wildlife refuge for some animals that had been injured or needed to be there for some other reason.

Grandfather mountain

They had amazing habitats, and appeared to be well cared for.


Everywhere you looked, it was beautiful.

Grandfather mountain

or just plain cute!

Grandfather mountain cute squirrell


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.

Grandfather mountain

You could eat inside or outside.

Grandfather mountain

Grandfather mountain

They had  this elaborate design for a squirrel proof  bird feeder.  See how well it worked?

Grandfather mountain

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.

grandfather mountain

grandfather mountain

It was a wonderful day, and we’re looking forward to more exploring tomorrow.


  1. We love grandfather mountain. We camped at Grandfather campground- one of our best trips ever.

  2. Loved to see Grandfather Mountain, we're gonna have to go visit it! Hope those weren't nettles, at least the stinging kind. Pulled my kayak up on a bank one time through some nettles and got the worse case of itchy, stinging sores from them, 10X worse than poison ivy.

  3. I am so glad you hung in there and got to the top. What gorgeous pictures. So many people places to see if this country of ours.

  4. Great to hear your report of your adventures a mile high. You are getting ready for the 13 and 14ers in the Rockies. :-)))

  5. You are doing great for a couple of "flat landers".

    Sometimes it is great to take a walk with your head in the clouds. ;c)

  6. We had a wonderful time in that area. Grandfather Mt. is gorgeous. We did several days of hiking.

    I hate that bridge though. I don't like to be scared and that one scared me good.

  7. Glad to see you are discovering the higher elevations. I think the mountains, no matter where they are make me smile.


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