ElevationAscent: 1,832' 558 m
Descent: -230' -70 m
High: 5,641' 1,719 m
Low: 3,833' 1,168 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 85% (40°)
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“A beautiful Grandfather Mountain trail that leads into the park from Hwy 105.”— J.D. McNoldy
You'll begin by working your way along the Watauga River under a thick forest. The first 1 mile is fairly easy on hardpacked dirt and wood steps and is frequented by less adventurous hikers. After about 1 mile the path gets more narrow and you transition to rock steps. Beginning around Foscoe View (approximately 2.2 miles) the climb becomes much more difficult (steep). At 3.2 miles you arrive at Shanty Spring, with your hike transitioning into a trail of tumble-down rock that joins the Grandfather Trail after a strenuous climb of 0.4 miles. You transition out of hardwoods and into Canadian firs. This upper section is very steep and rocky, and when wet it can be quite dangerous.
Around the 2.5 mile mark there are two established backcountry camping spots - at least one with food bag rigging.
Once you have reached the end of Profile Trail you are at a crossroads you can take Grandfather Trail two ways: left to Calloway Peak (0.4 miles), or right to MacRae Peak (approx. 1 mile), and ultimately the Swinging Bridge (2 miles).
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: North Carolina State Parks: Grandfather Mountain