03 April 2018
Day two of Spring Break 2018 was spent on Grandfather Mountain. We chose to go directly to the attraction area. Walking up the mountain is free, but with the family it is easier to pay the fee to drive up the mountain. When we arrived there was already a line to get in the gate. One of the parking guides suggested that we go on-line and order our tickets so we could use the priority entrance, which we did. That saved us about a half hour, and taught us to do a little research before heading out.
We drove right up to the Mile High Bridge. It’s not really a mile down, only a bit more than 80, but you are on top of the mountain. It’s a suspension bridge but stabilized with cables connected to the ground below to prevent the normal sway you would find on a light weight bridge. After crossing you can climb around on the rocks and enjoy the views of the valley below.
We made a visit to gift shop for decals for the family Conestoga and one for my laptop along with t-shirts for the kids. I still needed some steps for the day so Nate and I decided to hike out to Grandfather Gap. We filled out a trail permit and started out around 14:00. The trail is well groomed, they even toss in a cable on the steep parts.
We ran into a family at the Gap that was heading on up to the summit. The mom said that it was only another quarter mile or so with ladders and cables which sounded like fun. The sky was getting pretty gray, and I don’t read weather very well in the mountains so we decided to head back to the parking lot. We beat the rain, but the rest of the family was getting impatient for our return. I think we made the right decision.
We started down the mountain and stopped at the nature center. It’s a nice place that would be great for younger kids. Mine have seen black bears and elk without fences and walls so we didn’t spend much time there. A short walk down the hill takes you to the fudge shop. Now they were interested. Another short walk down the hill takes you to Split Rock. It is a comfortable climb for the family.