“Hike the Back Country!”
In 2008, agreement was reached for the state parks system to acquire 2,456 acres along the crest of Grandfather Mountain to become North Carolina's newest state park. The property is commonly known as the backcountry of the famous travel destination. The purchase completes a long-held vision of Grandfather Mountain Inc. and the Morton family (the heirs of company founder Hugh Morton) to guarantee the mountains' continued preservation. The acquisition was arranged with the help of The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy, which holds conservation easements on the mountain covering nearly 4,000 acres. The acquisition was financed by the Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage trust funds. In early 2009, the General Assembly formally authorized Grandfather Mountain State Park. This gives the state parks system the option of seeking additional acreage for traditional park facilities. Any additional tracts or facilities would be identified and prescribed through a public master planning process. As a way to guarantee that Grandfather Mountain will remain in its current state forever and assure the public continued access to its peaks, the owners of the attraction established the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization. The Grandfather Mountain attraction will continue to operate as it has since the 1950s, alongside the new state park but under the management of the Foundation. The attraction's admission fees continue to provide visitors the grand vistas from the mile-high swinging bridge, and access to the park's nature center, wildlife habitats and other amenities. Popular events, such as the Highland Games and the Singing on the Mountain will still be held at the attraction.
The mountain is beautiful. There is only back country camping. The touristy side of the mountain charges $20 a person to drive up. There are plenty of trails from the state Park side but be prepared to hike.
The "Mile-High Swinging Bridge" doesn't swing, and it's not really a mile high. Pretty, though, but hardly worth the charge to get in.
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Grandfather Mountain State Park
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