Day 152: Birthday Hiking And Treats


time of year

Grandfather Mountain nature park, Biosphere Preserve, NC $49/2 people with a timed entry. Grandfather Trail and Underwood Trail (2.4 mile loop, 1800’ elevation). This upper mountain ridge trail follows the crest of Grandfather Mountain to MacRae Peak and then to Calloway Peak, through wind-dwarfed spruce and fir trees, rock walls, pinnacles and open views of surrounding mountains. Extra steep sections require hikers to use in-place cables and ladders. If you are timid of heights, or not fit, this trail is not for you.

Grandfather Mountain is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Biosphere Reserve. 300-million-year-old Grandfather Mountain is unique because in less than 5,000 acres there is habitat for 16 distinct ecological communities and 72 rare or endangered species. Grandfather Mountain is part of the larger Southern Appalachian Biosphere Preserve, a major North American biome, characterized by complex, interconnected landscapes with steep, terrain-driven biophysical gradients with an origin in Pleistocene glacial history. It contains ~80 species of amphibians and reptiles, 175 species of terrestrial birds, 65 species of mammals, 2,250 species of vascular plants and possibly as many as 25,000 species of invertebrates, many of them federally protected.


difficulty: 8

Yesterday we hiked Big Lost Cove Cliffs, which we could see Grandfather Mountain from. Today we hiked the ridge line of Grandfather Mountain and could see the cliffs of Big Lost Cove.

We have a slow leak in a tire. After calling 6 tire places we finally found one in Boone, NC that agreed to fit us in and fix it.

Harris Teeter for the salad bar and ice cream to take to Julien Price Picnic Area so we can eat by the river.


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