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Grandfather Mountain State Park

Grandfather Mountain is a state park and private attraction in northwest North Carolina.  The park is located in Avery, Caldwell, and Watauga counties.  The mountain had been under private ownership until 2008, when the state bought much of the undeveloped lands on the mountain to form a state park.  The Grandfather Mountain massif contains four peaks - Calloway Peak, Attic Window, MacRae Peak, and Linville Peak.

Contact Information:

9872 Hwy 105 S (Suite 6)
Banner Elk, NC 28604

Phone: 828-963-9522

GPS: 36.111200, -81.811140




Profile Trail:

Length: 3.1 miles
Blaze: Orange
Difficulty: Strenuous

The Profile Trail leads from the parking area on NC-105 in Banner Elk up to Calloway Gap between Calloway Peak and Attic Window, gaining about 2000 vertical feet in just over three miles.  The trail starts moderate, following the upper section of Watauga River and then crossing.  The first mile is relatively flat, but then it starts to gain significant elevation.  In just over a mile and a half, the trail will pass Foscoe View with nice views of the valley below.

The trail then passes by the Profile, an exposed cliff below Calloway Peak.  At the right angle, it resembles an old man's face, thus the name of the trail and mountain.  There is a campsite right at the base of the cliff and a good view of the profile about a half-mile further.

Past the profile view, the trail passes Shanty Spring, the last reliable source of water.  About a half-mile past the spring is the upper terminus of the trail at Grandfather Mountain Trail.  Calloway Peak is about a half-mile to the left and MacRae Peak is under a mile heading right.



Grandfather Mountain is a great place to view wildflowers.  The significant changes in elevation mean you'll see different flowers as you hike up the mountains.

One of the earliest spring bloomers are trout lilies, named for their spotted leaves that resemble trout.

Another early spring flower is the Carolina Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana).  These flowers have wider leaves than the similar Eastern Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica).

Blog Entries:

15Apr2017: Grandfather Mountain Profile Trail

External Links:

Private Attraction website: https://grandfather.com/