Travel Attraction

Grandfather Mountain Travel Attraction

Grandfather Mountain has been a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve for more than a century and has been operated as a scenic travel attraction since 1952. Our objective is to steward the property in a way that protects the natural wonder of the geographic landmark AND offers the traveling public access to its fantastic scenery.

Open all year (weather permitting), visitors drive to the crest of the Mountain, stopping along the route to enjoy breath-taking scenery, native wildlife, programs with staff naturalists, a natural history museum, picnicking, hiking and the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.

The Mile High Swinging Bridge is a 228-foot suspension footbridge that connects two peaks at one mile above sea level.   Visitors say that the only thing that compares to the rush of crossing the bridge itself is the spectacular 360-degree view from the other side.

Visitors to Grandfather’s wildlife habitats come eye-to-eye with black bears, river otters, cougars, deer and Bald eagles in their natural surroundings. Separated from the animals by moats or elevated above the habitats on high retaining walls, the spacious enclosures allow guests to see the animals the way they live in the wild, and to get close-up photographs of the animals in their native settings.

Staff naturalists offer entertaining and informative experiences for guests who desire a deeper encounter with nature.  Activities are scheduled daily in summer and are included in the normal attraction admission. Families or groups that desire a specially tailored outing can arrange for personal tours with the naturalist by appointment for an nominal fee.

The Nature Museum has a theater that shows films about the Mountain and an exhibit gallery with more than two-dozen displays designed to enlighten guests about the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region.

Mildred’s Grill is a 100-seat family restaurant located in the Nature Museum that serves soups, salads, sandwiches and picnic items. Orders can be packaged “to go” for those wishing to relocate to one of more than 100 picnic tables found at overlooks and other scenic locations around the park.

Grandfather Mountain has almost a dozen trails varying in difficulty from a leisurely walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks.  A number of gentle paths designed to offer a low-impact foray into nature can be accessed from the summit road.  Those seeking greater adventure can access the trails in Grandfather Mountain State Park (which borders the travel attraction). Many of the demanding trails in the State Park rely on ladders and cables to help trekkers negotiate steep grades and sheer cliff faces.

Grandfather Mountain is located on US Highway 221 two miles north of Linville, NC, and one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 305.   For more information phone 800-468-7325 or plan a trip at


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  • Grandfather Mountain is my favorite place on Earth! Each time my family and I visit, we always have an amazing time. The feeling of peace I get as I look into what seems like forever off the mountain's top is unlike anything I've ever felt before.
    Mtn. City,TN
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