Grandfather Mtn. Trails

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina Hiking Trails

Randy Johnson’s books are the most authoritative guides to Grandfather Mountain’s trails. In 1978, he proposed and launched the mountain’s innovative trail and backcountry management program that helped preserve the peak. Johnson’s work was instrumental in creating and stabilizing the system of trails that today link the Blue Ridge Parkway with the Grandfather Mountain backcountry—now North Carolina’s newest state park. Before you check out Hiking North Carolina and Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, delve into the articles and videos below for more of Randy’s first-hand insight into one of the most spectacular mountains in the East. And feel free to email him. He spent years helping hikers enjoy his favorite mountain and he’s happy to offer advice.

Randy’s Articles and Videos about
Grandfather Mountain Hiking Trails
Read Randy’s Charlotte Observer article about the 30th anniversary of Grandfather Mountain’s Trail program.

Read The Watauga Democrat’s article on the anniversary of the Grandfather trail program.

Read the Subaru Drive magazine article about the start of Grandfather Mountain’s trail program.

Explore Randy’s interactive hiking map created by the Charlotte Observer for the 30th anniversary of the trail program.

Read the story of rebuilding Hi-Balsam Shelter.

Read about Mountain Rescue on Grandfather Mountain and in the NC Mountains.

Read the International Journal of Wilderness article about the mountain’s backcountry preservation program.

See the “Leave No Trace” traveling trainers in action as they demonstrate the secrets of low impact camping during a hike with Randy and friends on Grandfather Mountain, NC | Quicktime

Watch Randy’s Backpacking 101 equipment video as he prepares for an overnighter on Grandfather Mountain.
Windows | QuicktimeFlash

Watch a UNC-TV interview with Randy about Hiking North Carolina and Grandfather Mountain.

Download a Grandfather Mountain Trail Map
A hiker near the Grandfather Profile in April 2007.
Photo by Randy Johnson
MacRae Peak and ridgeline of Grandfather Mountain often divide the weather between the mountains and the Piedmont.
Photo by Randy Johnson
All photography copyrighted by Randy Johnson. Permission and credit required for reproduction or other use.
Contact Randy about his stock library of international travel, adventure, and Southern Appalachian photography.