Route: Profile Tr., Daniel Boone Scout Tr., Grandfather Tr.
Type: Out and Back
Distance: 11 miles
Conditions: Icy, snowy, cold
Impression: This was the most fun and challenging hike i've been on since i left Maine and the AT. While the Profile Trail is all uphill until Calloway Gap, the real challenge isn't until the Grandfather Trail. This rugged, rocky trail has extreme elevation changes and dangerous rock slopes (especially in December). It toke me about 5 1/2 hours to do the 11 miles and that's because of the slow pace needed to do this trail safely. Unbelievably fun, but a serious workout...
Whether you're considering a day hike or an overnight, Grandfather Mountain is an epic adventure that will challenge you physically but reward you with some spectacular views. It's easy for me to say, this is my favorite area to hike in the Southeast.
Directions to Trailhead: The Profile Trail can be accessed from NC 105, 0.7 miles north of the intersection with NC 184. Grandfather is south of Blowing Rock, NC and north of Linville, NC.
Suggested Map: The best map can be obtained at the park's entrance off Hwy 221 or printed from Grandfather Mountain's website.