After spending a few days in South Carolina. We drove up to Charlotte, North Carolina. My next adventure to cross off on my list was The Grandfather Mountain. This place was at the top of my list that I definitely did not want to miss out on. The mountain is located near Linville, NC. The drive took about 2 1/2 hours from Charlotte. Once you get to the gate, you will be charged an admission fee of $20 per adult that will allow you access the entire park. Along your purchase you will receive a CD and a map to guide you along the drive up the mountain. The Grandfather Mountain has so much to offer from the mile high swinging bridge that allows you to enjoy the 360 panoramic view to the wildlife habitats which has bears, cougars, eagles, and otters. There is also a gift shop, fudge shop, nature museum, and a restaurant.
Upon my arrival, it started raining in the area. Even though I checked the forecast prior to my visit, the weather was different from what I had anticipated. Fortunately, the rain calmed down a bit while I spent my time in the nature museum. The weather remained cold, foggy, windy, and wet. Despite the weather, The Grandfather Mountain is truly breathtaking. I was able to enjoy the stunning scenery after the fog cleared up a bit and was able to capture some clear shots. The walk across the bridge was brief yet exhilarating. I did not find it intimidating even though I knew I was crossing over an 80-foot chasm at more than a mile high in elevation; perhaps the fog helped me conquered my fear of heights. (Just kidding.) Once you cross to the other side, be extremely cautious maneuvering through the large rocks since there are no guard rails to hang on to.
If you are planning a trip to the Grandfather Mountain my recommendation are: 1. Get there early to have enough time to hike, explore, and also to avoid the busy hours. (I spent approximately 5 hours there.) 2. Be sure to wear proper shoes for hiking as the trails can be strenuous and challenging. 3. Dress a bit warmer than your summer wear during this time of year since it is a bit cooler on the mountain. (It was around 58-60 degrees F during my visit.) Lastly, don’t forget to pack your camera to take tons of photographs and enjoy what nature has to offer!