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51 Climbing Grandfather The rocky wall of the mountain often dramatically separates the cool weather of the High Country from the baking temperatures far below. WWhether you drive up or climb on foot, you won’t regret visiting the Canadian climate on Granddad’s summits. The attraction’s motorists have the easiest access to the peaks via the Grandfather Trail from Black Rock Parking Area. It’s a strenuous, high-adventure, ladder-climbing hike. The trail immediately enters the state park to climb MacRae, Attic Window, and Calloway peaks. It’s only about 5.4 miles round-trip — but it feels longer. A shorter spectacular loop over MacRae Peak is only 2.6 miles. From valleys to the east and west of the ridge, state park trails climb the peaks. The Profile Trail from near Banner Elk connects NC 105 to Calloway Peak, a strenuous 7-mile hike that puts you eye-to-eye with Grandfather’s famous face. From the east, the Daniel Boone Scout Trail (the easiest route to Calloway) rises to Calloway from the Blue Ridge Parkway (Boone Fork parking, Milepost 299.9), a roundtrip of 5.6 miles. Also from the Parkway, the Cragway and Nuwati Trails provide easier (about 3-mile) hikes with some of the moun-tain’s best views. The Black Rock Trail on the attraction road is another easy route to great views for a 2-mile hike. Author Randy Johnson’s new book Grandfather Mountain: Appalachian Icon, A History and Guide will be available from the University of North Carolina Press in early 2016. Johnson’s other books, Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway and Hiking North Carolina, contain the best descriptions of the trails. www.randyjohnsonbooks.com www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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