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.