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New Access, Parking Lot for Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park Now Open

The new parking lot for the Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park was packed yesterday with more cars than the old parking lot could hold. The new facility opened on Saturday. Photo courtesy Grandfather Mountain State Park Supt. Sue McBean

Grandfather Mountain State Park’s new Profile Trail access area opened to the public on Saturday. 

This is the first facility to be constructed in the state park, which was founded in 2009.

The project was awarded to Garanco Construction out of Pilot Mountain, NC in March 2016 and includes a bathroom facility, 100 space parking lot, two-lane paved road from highway 105, and a connector to the existing Profile Trail.

Hikers should note that trash receptacles will not be provided at the new trailhead.  Black bears are common in the area and this is an effort to prevent them from associating people with a food source (trash cans).  This is a pack it in, pack it out site.  Remember: never approach or feed wildlife.

The new section of trail is easy with rolling hills and steps on the steeper sections of this segment.  It is a beautiful trail which passes through acidic coves with rhododendron and rich coves filled with herbaceous wildflowers.  The total length of the Profile Trail is now 3.6 miles from the new trailhead to Calloway Gap, where the Profile Trail meets the Grandfather Trail.  The hike to Calloway Peak is four miles (round trip is eight miles).  The hike to the swinging bridge is 5.6 (round trip is 11.2).

The old parking lot and trailhead will be closed to the public, but will be maintained as an emergency and maintenance access.

Contact the park office for information: 828.963.9522.

The highway access for the new Profile Trail parking lot at Grandfather Mountain State Park. Photos by Ken Ketchie
The road leading into the 100-plus-vehicle parking area, where the new restroom facility and trailhead are located.
The parking area and new restroom facility and trailhead in the distance.
The new restroom facility.
Rangers put the final touches on the new restroom facility.
The access from N.C. 105.
This project included making way for a turning lane, guard rails and retention wall.
A new turning lane was built for safe access to the parking area.