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“Windy, but awesome views”

Grandfather Mountain
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Linville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Grandfather Mountain’s pristine scenery and sweeping vistas rejuvenate mind and spirit. At an elevation of 5,946 feet, Grandfather is recognized as one of the world’s most diverse nature preserves. Be exhilarated by the altitude and panoramic views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge; stand eye-to-eye with bears, cougars and otters in natural habitats. Dine in the restaurant or find a scenic picnic spot, browse the nature museum, wander the trails, go behind the scenes of the animal habitats, visit with knowledgeable naturalists, and stop for a treat at the fudge shop. Fill your day with family memories at place where wonders never cease.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed August 12, 2013

It allows for some of the best views in the Blue Ridge mountains. You should pack a lunch and have a picnic at one of the numerous stop and overlooks. It has a café for quick meals as well. The swinging mile high bridge is fun and slightly scary all at the same time.

Thank TBoneMcGee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,279 - 1,283 of 1,785 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

Gorgeous views for miles, the excitement of the "mile-high" swinging bridge, the amazing animals and even the mineral museum simply captivated our wild crew! Not too crowded as we visited on a weekday, and staff members were helpful and pleasant, especially the kind lady at the entrance gate! We were only able to stay a couple hours, but you definitely fill a whole day. We will surely be back.

Thank CPRocker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

I loved the CD that we were given at the gate which gave us some history as we drove. The elevator was still out of order but the steps were not that difficult. My knees were weak as I walked across the mile high bridge and as I crossed I heard thunder. When I reached the other side a man moved pass me saying that it was already starting to rain. I made my way across a wet bridge and waited it out until the rain stopped. I sat on the rocks while the kids went across the bridge a second time. It continued to rain at the animal enclosures and we only saw the eagle. We all ducked into the ice cream shop to wait out the rain and enjoyed ourselves. In the gift shop we were told that sometimes they give "rain checks" but we never saw a sign to indicate this. As we were leaving, we did ask at the gate and our receipt was stamped "good for one year". I can't really complain when we did enjoy the view and some of the area between showers. We will go back within the year and look for the bears!

2  Thank Rondella1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

1. Bring a hoodie, even in AUGUST! It is so windy don't bother doing your hair if it's short.
2. Wear Hiking shoes if you plan to do any hiking on the top
3. Get there when they open, it fills up FAST!
4. Do the SWINGING BRIDGE FIRST

First let me address what bothered me the most. The amount of people hiking on the GRANDFATHER TRAIL in SANDALS or FLIP FLOPS! What are you people thinking? The sign says it is a very rough trail for a REASON! It is slick, tree roots, rocks, SEVERAL ladders and cables to climb on. Seeing people take their 3yr olds in flip flops, do you think the signs don't pertain to you? If your afraid of heights don't do this hike! But WOW what a view!
Yes $18 a person for adults seems like a bit much, and that is why we haven't been in the 9+ yrs we have lived here. BUT this year on Groupon they had 2 admissions for $20 so I jumped on that and bought 2 so the 4 adults could get in and paid $8 so my under 12 could get in (and btw, our hotel had slightly discounted adult admissions too). We got there at about 9:15 am and that was our first smart move. Went to the swinging bridge first, our second smart move. When we got off the swinging bridge there were so many people in the parking lot! I have never been to park that has been that busy and it was only 10am! We did the hike to McCray Peak and WHAT A PAYOFF! The views are spectacular! Climbing the rocks, and ladders and enduring the wind (in spots) was so worth it.
After the hike (which is only 2 miles but takes 2 hours because it is NOT EASY by any means and we are experienced hikers!) we went back to our car and did the animal exhibits which are, well, some animals for you to look at (the otters are fun!), you don't go to this place just to see the animals. We walked up to the guy with Calvin (the snake) doing a q+a info thingy. Then we went to lunch in Maggie's Grill....A bit over priced but the food was good enough, though most of it was COLD by the time our buzzer went off alerting us to our food being ready. Free refills on the drinks though and the Onion rings for $2.95, there were a lot of them! And that was one of the best sweet teas I have ever had! No slight bitter after taste. My family then went and got some fudge, typical BUSY with tourist, fudge/ice cream shop, $15 for 1.5 lbs of fudge.
Gets me how people complain about the price, yet pay $80+ a person to go to Disney and $40+ to go to Carowinds (just south of Charlotte) or a water park. This place is at least a not for profit place not to mention I saw a lot more park employees here than I do at any free state park so my money is going towards something. This park is huge, and if you really want to get in for free, feel free to enter the park at the hiking spot on 105 and you go hike up and go to all this stuff for free. You do also get a Audio tour CD (we don't have a cd player so I have no idea what it said) with your entrance.
I wish we lived closer to this place so I could buy season tickets $50 for an adult annual isn't too bad ($20 kids) though the group annual would be even better at $170 for up to 6 people per car if you planned on visiting often or had visitors often that like that kind of thing.
We are going back in October with relatives when they should be nice and busy because that is their peak season the entire month of October.

4  Thank Valerie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LandisTaylor, Public Relations Manager at Grandfather Mountain, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2013

Valerie D,

Thanks so much for visiting Grandfather Mountain and writing this review! I love your tips - especially the one about a bad hair day! We are always breezing, especially at the top of the Mountain. And you had another great call on footwear - close-toed and good-soled shoes are the best call!

This a very detailed review and I'm sure it will be very helpful to others. So glad that you got to meet Calvin the snake!

Landis Taylor
Director of Communications
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

We were in a time crunch but wished we had planned more time here and brought a picnic with. We love the swinging bridge-the bears at feeding time and the views! It was very windy so hold on to your hats! Great photo ops after crossing the bridge! Enjoy!!

Thank Beenaroundtheworld2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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