July 4, 2017
We chose to forego the parades and fireworks and sales and consumer-driven madness this 4th for the refuge of nature. Nature’s soothing calmness knows not of the hubbub of societal flow. Its pathways and forests are a refuge for us.
The Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park is a wonderful path. It is uphill for most of the hike, but nothing insurmountable. This weekend coincided with the opening of the new parking area, and unbeknownst to us, adds a ½ mile to the hike. From the trailhead to Shanty Spring, the trail consists of nice switchbacks, but after Shanty it’s mainly bouldering up the mountain to where it meets Grandfather Trail.
I highly recommend this trail, through the 1600 feet in elevation change, you see four distinct climates: the valley next to the creek, the acidic soil of the pines and laurel, the 4000 foot range with nettle, and the lofty alpine environment with hemlocks and firs. It’s a tremendous place.
GPS Link: https://www.movescount.com/moves/move164715478
Total mileage is 7.82 miles.