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Outdoors Grandfather Mountain offering guided hikes this summer for the second year

Grandfather Mountain’s guided hike series, now in its second year, has four preplanned hikes to showcase the wonderful scenery and wildlife of the mountain throughout the coming months.

“The interpretive ranger staff is excited to provide the public with opportunities to explore Grandfather’s backcountry while learning about the ecology and history of the Mountain,” said Gabriel Taylor, Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation chief interpretive ranger.

Next up on this year’s lineup is the “Ridgeline of Diversity” hike offered June 16 and 17. As the name suggests, this hike is designed to showcase the unparalleled diversity of animal and plant life in this unique area, while also providing guests with a full panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. This journey takes hikers 2.4 miles, traversing large boulders, climbing ladders and gaining 700 feet in elevation. This trip is an all day commitment and is not for the inexperienced hiker. It begins at 9 a.m. and costs $35 in addition to halfprice park admission.

On July 28 and 29, the “Grandfather’s Attic” hike begins at 9 a.m. This challenging endeavor involves a hike to Attic Window Peak and Indian House Cave over the most rugged terrain on the mountain. During this hike, interpretive rangers will share the story of Grandfather and past historic events that shaped the Mountain into what it is today. This trek gains 600 feet in elevation during the 1.2-mile hike. It is a half-day trip that begins at 9 a.m. and costs guests $25 in addition to park admission.

Last of the feature hikes; the “Nature on the Edge” hike, August 25 and 26, showcases the resiliency of plants and animals in the adverse conditions of the mountain. Throughout the journey, interpretive rangers will discuss the needs for habitat and point out signs of survival. This hike travels to MacRae Peak across 0.9 miles using cables and seven ladders to gain almost 600 feet in elevation. This is a half-day trip that begins at 9 a.m. and will cost guests $15 in addition to park admission.

For those who are interested in a guided hike, but can’t attend the scheduled trips, additional guided treks are available yearround and can be reserved in advance. Guided hikes can travel to MacRae Peak, Attic Window Peak and Calloway Peak and interpretive rangers can tailor the journey to fit topics of interest for the participants. A minimum of four participants is required. For more information or to schedule a guided hike at Grandfather Mountain, call 828-737-0833.

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