Grandfather Mountain Trails

Grandfather Mountain Trails

Grandfather Mountain, one of the tallest and most rugged in the Eastern United States, is crisscrossed with well maintained trails, most of them for experienced hikers. Some lead into Grandfather’s deep woods, but most scale cliffs that can sometimes be dizzying in height. Permits are required for trail access, and hikers are strongly advised to exercise caution in case of thunderstorms or other adverse weather conditions. Always carry water, food, and a trail map and wear sturdy boots


Contact Info:
P.O. Box 129 - US 221 & Blue Ridge Parkway
Linville, NC - 28646
Phone: 800-468-7325
Fax: 828-733-2608

Park Side Trails:

  • The Bridge Trail: Grandfather’s newest trail begins at the Black Rock Parking Area and meanders through forested areas, eventually traveling underneath the Mile High Swinging Bridge. An easy 30 minute walk.
  • Black Rock Nature Trail: This self-guided nature trail begins in the parking lot just below Grandfather’s Swinging Bridge and is good for beginning hikers. It’s a 1.0 mile turn-around through the forests of this majestic mountain. Offers an excellent view.

Crest Trails:

  • Grandfather Trail: This is the big one! It begins at Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge and eventually hits all of Grandfather’s three highest peaks. This 2.4 mile trail requires approximately 5 hours of hiking time to travel the entire length. It’s extremely rugged, with only wooden ladders making some sheer cliff faces accessible. It intersects with several other trails at its northern terminus.
  • Underwood Trail: 0.5 mile bypass around McRae Peak that lets hikers avoid ladders and/or severe weather on the peak. Strenuous and rocky.

West Side Trails:image

  • Profile Trail: 2.7 miles. The lower part of the trail is an easy out-and-back leg stretcher, but the upper section is fairly strenuous. Links with Calloway Trail. The trailhead is located near the Shoppes of Tynecastle on Highway 105 in Banner Elk.
  • Calloway Trail: 0.3 mile strenuous trail that links the Profile Trail (at Shanty Spring) and the Grandfather Trail (at Calloway Gap)
  • Bottom -To -Top Linked Trail Outing: Profile Trail (2.7 miles) to Calloway Trail (0.3 mile) to Grandfather Trail (2.4 miles) Very strenuous - an all day outing for serious hikers only

East Side Trails:

  • Daniel Boone Scout Trail: Strenuous. Ascends 2,000 feet in just 2.6 miles (allow 4.5 hours for round trip). Recommended access is from the Boone Fork Parking Area via the Tanawha Trail. Strenuous and steep trail to Calloway Peak, the highest point in the Blue Ridge.
  • Nuwati Trail: 1.2 miles, easy but rocky. Located 0.4 miles on Tanawha Trail from Boone Fork Parking Area.
  • Cragway Trail: Rocky and strenuous trail that links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. 1.0 mile.
  • Asutsi Trail: 0.4 mile. An easy connecting trail from Hwy 221 at Serenity Farm to Boone Fork Footbridge. Provides winter access to the East Side Trails.


Permits are required for hiking all Grandfather Mountain trails and are available at the following locations:Grandfather Mountain Trails

At Grandfather Mountain:
Grandfather Mountain Main Entrance, US 221, Linville.

Closest to Profile Trail:
Exxon-McDonald’s complex, Jct. of Hwy 105 and Hwy 184; Foscoe Fishing Co. and Outfitters in Tynecastle; Edge of the World Outfitters, Banner Elk; Seven Devils Trading Company, Hwy 105 in Foscoe.

Closest to Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails:
Grandfather Mountain Market, Jct. US 221 and Holloway Mtn. Road; Footsloggers in Blowing Rock.

Other Area Outlets:
Footsloggers, 139 S.Depot St., Boone; Mast General Store Annex, NC 194 Valle Crucis; Mast General Store in Boone.

For Grandfather Mountain Costs, Hiking Permits, Annual Passes & Park Day Passes go to

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