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Exploring 100 Years of Grandfather Mountain: A State Park Centennial Celebration

On Friday, August 26 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., join us in a special event to celebrate the spectacular attributes of Grandfather Mountain and 100 years of NC State Parks.  Host of Expeditions with Patrick McMillan and Director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Dr. McMillan will present a moving and inspiring lecture about the 5946’ mountain which is home to over 70 threatened or endangered species.  Dr. McMillan has a lifelong love of the mountain and his presentation will both educate and inspire.  Don’t miss this opportunity!  A social with refreshments will precede the presentation from 7- 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Charlie Peek
Storyteller’s Rock

“Exploring 100 Years of Grandfather Mountain – A State Park Centennial Celebration”

Dr. Patrick McMillan
Friday, August 26

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Social from 7 – 7:30 p.m.)

ASU Library, 218 College St, Boone (Room 114)

We hope that Friday evening’s presentation will inspire you to join us on Saturday for special Expeditions on Grandfather Mountain. These will be guided hikes on the Nuwati and Cragway Trails. Naturalists, scientists and environmental educators will be stationed along the way to enliven your hike with spirited presentations.  Hikes will leave on the half hour from the Boone Fork Parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The Nuwati Trail is moderately easy with a 700’ gain in elevation.  The trail surface is uneven and rocky with some stream crossings.  There is an optional strenuous climb to Story Teller’s Rock where we will turn around.  Total hiking distance is three miles, round-trip, and will take two hours.

Longer guided hikes will leave at 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. for a four-mile loop on the Nuwati, Cragway and Daniel Boone Scout trails.  These hikes will not include interpretive stations along the way.  This four mile loop gains 950’ in elevation, with 700 of those on the mile long Cragway Trial, which is strenuous, very steep, rocky, and rutted.  Participants must be prepared for a strenuous hike and must be wearing appropriate closed toe shoes and must have water.  Plan on three hours for this loop.

Ranger Sicard
Ranger Sicard


Expeditions on Grandfather Mountain

Saturday, August 27

11:00am; last expedition hike leaves at 1:30pm

Boone Fork Parking Lot; Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of mile marker 300 (GPS: 36.120076, -81.781358)

  • Nuwati Hikes leave every 30 minutes beginning at 11:00am, the last hike leaves at 1:30pm.
  • Cragway loop hikes leave at 11:15am and 12:15pm (longer and more strenuous hikes)
  • Plan on two hours for the Nuwati Trail; three hours for the Cragway loop.
  • No pets, please.
  • Bring water.
  • Dress for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes, appropriate for hiking.

For more information, call Grandfather Mountain State Park at 828-963-9522 or e-mail grandfather.mountain@ncparks.gov.