Throughout 2016, North Carolina’s state parks system will celebrate its centennial. One of the nation’s first state parks was created 100 years ago at the summit of Mount Mitchell, and since then, the system has grown to nearly a quarter-million acres set aside for conservation, recreation and education. The occasion offers North Carolinians an opportunity to celebrate this achievement and to rededicate themselves to the stewardship of this stunning landscape. Every state park held a special event to mark the centennial.
What is NC’s newest established State Park?
That would be Grandfather Mountain.
Grandfather Mountain has been an icon in North Carolina’s landscape for generations, offering stunning scenery and unmatched ecological diversity. This state park opens the mountain’s 2,456-acre backcountry to spectacular hiking and backpacking. The park is known for some of the South’s most severe weather and challenging terrain, with trails that have hikers scrambling along cliffs and up ladders.
Until 2008, Grandfather Mountain was privately owned and operated as a nature preserve and tourist attraction. It was and still is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America, built in 1952 by Hugh Morton. The bridge links two of the mountain’s rocky peaks, and is known as the “swinging” bridge due to its tendency to sway in high winds. In 2008, 2,600 acres of the undeveloped portions of Grandfather Mountain was added to the North Carolina State Park system, becoming the 34th North Carolina state park. The Morton family established the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation to continue to operate the travel destination as an educational nature park. Grandfather Mountain State Park was officially established in 2009.
Our manufacturing facility is located in the heart of these two great destinations. It is an easy 30 minute drive to Grandfather Mountain. Although the peak of Mt Mitchell in an hour away, there are route options, one being the Blue Ridge Parkway a mere 15 minutes away. Of young and old, the mountains are calling!