North Carolina State Landmarks

North Carolina State Landmarks
The State of North Carolina has a distinct appeal for two types of travelers; history buffs and the outdoor enthusiasts. Since many of the state's most interesting landmarks are located in natural, outdoor environments, ambitious visitors can enjoy the best of both of these worlds, without needing to compromise.

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which separate North Carolina and Tennessee. It stands at 5,946 feet. Grandfather Mountain is famous for the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, which was built in 1952, by nature conservationist Hugh MacRae Morton. The bridge is 228 feet long, and connects the mountain's two peaks. Although it was once a privately-owned tourist attraction, it was purchased by the state in 2006. Today, Grandfather Mountain serves as a wildlife preserve, as well as a popular hiking destination. In 2009, adult admission prices were $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $7 for children.

Grandfather Mountain
P. O. Box 129
2050 Blowing Rock Highway
Linville, North Carolina, 28646
(828) 733-4337

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park is located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. The area was purchased by Dr.Lucius B. Morse in 2002. It operated as a privately-owned tourist attraction until 2007, when it was purchased by the state of North Carolina. Chimney Rock State Park is home to The Chimney, which is a 315-foot granite monolith, situated at an elevation of 2,280 feet . Hikers can also take the 0.75-mile Hickory Nut Falls Trail, which leads to one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. In 2009, rates were $14 for adults and $6 for children.

Chimney Rock Park
P.O. Box 39
Chimney Rock, North Carolina, 28720
(800) 277-9611

U.S. National Whitewater Center

Recreational whitewater enthusiasts rarely get the chance to play in an official, Olympic training site for whitewater and slalom racing. However, since the U.S. National Whitewater Center is now considered a national landmark, it's possible to do so. This non-profit recreation area is adjacent to the Catawba River. It is situated on 307 acres of land, and located in Mecklenberg, North Carolina. Although the facility is a haven for whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking, it also boasts 11 scenic miles suitable for hiking, biking and trail running. There's also an outdoor ropes course, as well as an outdoor climbing wall. Pricing varies according to the specific activity.

U.S. National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Charlotte, North Carolina, 28214
(704) 391-3900

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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