Tanawha Trail

Grandfather, North Carolina 28604

Tanawha Trail

Tanawha Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trail wastes little time impressing as it travels the southeast flank of Grandfather Mountain. In less than two-tenths of a mile from the visitor center, the trail ducks under the viaduct, then climbs a boulder field and passes through a short tunnel created by the boulders. Cross one of several impressive footbridges along this stretch into a forest carpeted by ferns and pungent galax.

More boulders, more galax, more rhododendron. More up, more down. At mile 1.4, you’ll encounter a spur trail down to the Wilson Creek Overlook. Continue another mile down the trail and you’ll encounter one of the most gorgeous spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway: the Rough Ridge heath bald, covered with huckleberry, mountain ash, and Catawba rhododendron."

Tanawha Trail Reviews

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This is a really nice trail that you can make as short or long as you'd like. We went in late March and the Linn Cove Visitor Center was closed, so we parked at the Stack Rock Parking Area, adding 10-15 minutes to the described trail. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. Difficulty is moderate due to some of the climbs. We only went as far as the Rough Ridge Parking area (about 3 miles), but the highlight was definitely the views from the top of Ship Rock. Breathtaking, and this was in March. Can only imagine summer and fall views. We walked back to our car via the Parkway (except for using the trail past the viaduct...stay left, go under the viaduct and intersect the main trail), an easy 40 min. walk. The trail map from Grandfather Mt was excellent (we went the day before) and really all the guidance you'll need.

Tanawha Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
665 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
Best in Fall
Trails Illustrated Linville Gorge/Mount Mitchell, Pisgah Ranger District; USGS Grandfather Mountain
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018