With a chill in the air, it’s quite natural to think about a drive to the mountains. Grandfather Mountain is a favorite fall destination for families. Viewing natural beauty with your every turn, watching animals in their natural habitats and walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge are just a few enticing reasons to visit this beautiful mountain. If your schedule is clear for Saturday, September 7, your kids can be a part of the 10th Annual Kidsfest.
At the entrance, you will receive an audio tour CD which is included in the admission price. Pop the CD in immediately to begin the tour. An easy-going male voice narrates the tour and highlights stops to make to the top of the mountain. It’s a nicely paced tour that’s gives you just the right amount of information without boring or overwhelming. We were impressed with all the things we learned from this audio tour and how well it was put together.
Make a stop at the Nature Museum and you will find an exhibition hall, theatre, gift shop, Mildred’s Grill, and Animal Habitats. The museum houses displays on how Grandfather Mountain was formed, different plant and animal species of North Carolina, and the history of Daniel Boone. If you forgot to pack a picnic, Mildred’s Grill can pack one for your family or you can eat lunch in one of their dining areas.
Located behind the museum is where you will find the Animal Habitats. You can view black bears, cougars, otters, deer, and a golden eagle. It’s easy to view the otters and golden eagle due to how visitors can walk almost completely around their habitats. For the other animals, it could be hit or miss. Best times to see the black bears, cougars, and deer are during Habitat Animal Enrichments. A staff member feeds them during the enrichments. The animals are conditioned to these feeding times, so they will make an appearance. The staff member will inform you about the animals in a brief talk and answer any questions. You will receive a schedule for these animal enrichments upon entry into the mountain.
Mile High Swinging Bridge
Walking across the bridge is the main attraction at the top of the mountain. Suspended one mile above sea level, the bridge is only 80 feet from the canyon below. In 1999, the original wooden bridge was replaced with a metal one. The surrounding 360° views will have everyone awe struck. On a clear day, you can view Charlotte’s skyline, around 100 miles away to the southeast.
Temperatures on Grandfather Mountain are similar to Newfoundland, Canada. Bundle up in layers, it’s cold and windy at the top and down below as well.
Kids are invited to enjoy the nature and culture of North Carolina Mountains through this annual event. Many fun activities include guided hikes, storytellers, face painting, crafts and games. They regularly add new activities to the line-up like Animal Olympics and Fairy Houses. For a comprehensive schedule of events, please visit their website. There are no additional costs to participate.
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