Jun 13, 2011

Grandfather Mountain, Boone NC

"5,946 feet up on a mountain, you enter a different world."

We visited Grandfather Mountain over Memorial Day Weekend.  The park is a great day trip for the family.  Easy to navigate for young, old and handicapped.  Great hiking trails, awesome views.  Entry is a little costly, but worth it for the upkeep of the park, $15 per person, kids are cheaper.

Upon entry, we received a CD which was a great audio tour as we went through the park. 

Take a picnic lunch, lots of water and wear comfy shoes.  Your first stop most likely will be Sphinx and Split Rocks, a 15 minute stop.  The views are just incredible....

Split Rock.

The Rhododendron was in bloom and was all over the place, really beautiful.  Go in June to see it at its best.   I saw a little Mountain Laurel in bloom as well. 

There's a nice zoo with paved trails, wheelchair friendly, but hilly.

The park offers enrichment times throughout the day where you can watch staff interact with the animals.   We were there for the bear feeding (below) and petting the snake.  {{shudder}}

There's a large variety of trails for every level and time constraint.  There are some backpacking areas and come camping areas also.  There are many places you can just step right off the mountain, so keep an eye on your little ones. . . . and your not-so-little little ones, the big goobers.

You might remember this stretch of the highway was featured on Forrest Gump - part of his training where he was running across the country or something like that:

While in the area, you may want to visit:
Blowing Rock - eat at Canyons on 321 just outside Blowing Rock - great view.  Blowing Rock has an awesome park in the middle of all the cute shops.
The Original Mast General Store
Linville Falls
Jump off the dam and swim in the Watauga River (gravel lot next to Hound's Ear Club on 221, Foscoe)

1 comment:

Mast General Store said...

There's nothing more fun than Mast General!