RALEIGH — A new access area to serve the Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park in Avery County will be formally dedicated Friday Aug. 11 by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
The 10 a.m. ceremony is open to the public and will celebrate a long-awaited new access to the popular trail located on Highway 105 in Banner Elk, N.C. Local and state elected officials will be in attendance along with community volunteers and supporters of the park who helped make the project possible.
“The Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park celebrates the natural wonders of an iconic mountain destination,” said Susi Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “This well-appointed new access to the beloved trail will help accommodate the increasing demand for access to the park, and offer conveniences for the comfort of more visitors.”
In addition to a 0.7-mile extension of the Profile Trail to connect with the new access, the project includes a new road, ample parking and new restroom facilities. The work represents an investment of $1.7 million from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the principal funding source for state park capital projects and land acquisition.
The land for the new access is made up of two tracts. The access road, parking lot, restroom, and a portion of the re-routed Profile Trail is on a 32.6-acre tract purchased in 2012 with $1.1 million of funding allocated by the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The 33.3-acre tract that adjoins the new access was donated to Grandfather Mountain State Park by The Nature Conservancy in 2015.
The project was designed by Bulla Smith Design Engineering, P.A. of Charlotte. The general contractor was Garanco, Inc. of Pilot Mountain.
Grandfather Mountain State Park was established in 2009 and encompasses 2,687 acres of Grandfather Mountain’s “backcountry.” It offers stunning views of the iconic mountain from eight trails ranging from leisurely to rugged and camping at 13 sites around the park.