Last Updated on April 2, 2019 4:53 pm
Last spring, Grandfather Mountain State Park experienced heavy, prolonged rains that severely damaged and eroded park trails, making some areas impassable. Damage to the Nuwati and Cragway trails was so extensive that repairs will require contracting outside work. The wet weather continued as Grandfather Mountain experienced 10 feet of precipitation in 2018, compounding the damage to all our trails. Park staff are working to get contracts underway while repairing what we are able to on the other trails. Trail renovations cannot begin until May at the earliest because there is currently a moratorium on construction work in trout streams or tributaries while the fish are spawning, This is a critical protection measure for trout.
Park staff hope to complete work and reopen trails by late summer, but these timelines are difficult to estimate. Until the repairs can be made, the Nuwati and Cragway trails will remain closed. This closure includes the four campsites along the Nuwati Trail: Streamside, The Hermitage, Storyteller's Rock and The Refuge.
The National Park Service closed the Tanawha Trail foot bridge over Boone Fork due to damage to the footings from the same period of heavy rain in May. We do not have up-to-date information on their repair schedule, but the trout moratorium applies to this work as well. The bridge, located off the Boone Fork Parking Area just north of the mile marker 300 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is used to access the Daniel Boone Scout, Cragway, Nuwati and Tanawha Trails.
The Daniel Boone Scout Trail is open, but the only parking access is at the Boulder Field Parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway between mile markers 302 and 303, which can accommodate about eight vehicles. The hike on the Tanawha Trail from Boulder Field to the Daniel Boone Scout Trailhead is 2.8 miles. Due to the closure of the foot bridge, all campers must register for their campsite at the Profile Trailhead, even if hiking on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. The Profile Trail is open, and the trailhead is located at 4198 Highway 105, Banner Elk, 28604.
The Grandfather, Grandfather Extension, Blackrock and Underwood Trails are all open. These trails are accessible through the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, a private organization that owns and operates the southern, developed portion of the mountain. An entrance fee is charged by the stewardship foundation. Please call 828-733-2013 for information on their organization.
Park staff greatly appreciates your understanding and cooperation. We are also disappointed that the trails and campsites remain closed; it is very important to us that we are able to provide the public with beautiful, safe hiking trails while protecting the natural resources that we all love so much.
Up-to-date information on the state park will be posted on Grandfather Mountain State Park’s website (https://www.ncparks.gov/grandfather-mountain-state-park) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/grandfathermountainstatepark). Any questions may be directed to the Grandfather Mountain State Park office at 828-963-9522 during office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.