NCNatural's Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest
Grandfather Ranger District

The Grandfather Ranger District receives its' name from Grandfather Mountain, one of the dominant peaks of the area. Ironically, most of Grandfather Mountain is not in the Grandfather Ranger District. The district lies southeast of the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Asheville and Blowing Rock.

Highlights of the Grandfather District  
View a facilities map of the area

Linville Gorge
Called the "Grand Canyon of North Carolina". Check out the our in-depth guide to the Gorge. Also check out the Official NFS Linville Gorge brochure (in PDF Format).

Wilson Creek Area
Wilson Creek is a National Wild & Scenic River. This narrow, deep stream valley has a total of 75 miles of trails - mostly signed at the trailhead, but otherwise unmarked, backcountry trails - but it includes 10 miles of marked streamside trails. Many of the trails follow streams and some have cascading waterfalls. This is also a popular trout fishing and kayaking area. There are pockets of old growth trees scattered throughout. Check out the Official NFS Wilson Creek Wild & Scenic River brochure (In PDF Format).

Brown Mountain Area
ORV area has 33.5 miles of trails for ATV's and Dirt Bikes, open 3/16 - 1/1. Check out the Official NFS Brown Mountain ORV brochure (in PDF format).

Brown Mountain is perhaps better known for an unexplained phenemenon called the "Brown Mountain Lights". These mysterious lights have been seen for hundreds of years and by quite a lot of people. Local indians knew of them before the whitemen came. The lights are sometimes very bright and move about the side of the mountain. They are more often seen during dry weather. You can look for the lights from Wiseman's View on the west side of Linville Gorge, or from Grandfather Mountain, but the best viewing is from the parking turnout near MP 20 on NC Hwy 181 (Brown Mountain is the long, low ridge, directly across from the overlook).

Tablerock Area
Short trails travel the east rim of Linville Gorge to the summit of Table Rock and the chimneys. The area also has a picnic area and is handicap accessible, with vault toilets. From Morganton, take NC 181-N. Turn left at sign onto Gingercake Acres Rd. (SR 1265), which becomes FR 210 (gravel). Turn right on FR 99.

Mackay Mountain Backcountry
The most primitive and remote of all the NC National Forests backcountry areas, has 17 miles of mostly ridgeline trails. the trails are unsigned and unblazed. This area, about 15 miles west of Marion, is bordered by Curtis Creek and includes part of a black bear sanctuary.

Group Campgrounds
Boone Fork Group Camp has 19 sites for up to 100 people. Call 828-652-2144 for more info or reservations.

Official National Forest Service Information and links; Other Useful Information & Links
  • Grandfather Ranger District
    Route 1, Box 110-A
    Nebo, NC 28761
    (828) 652-2144
    Exit 90 off I-40 at Nebo/Lake James exit. About 9 miles east of Marion.

  • Mountain Camping Information
    (in PDF format from NFS). The Pisgah National Forest offers full-featured campgrounds as well as primitive and group campgrounds. Get the official NFS info for mountain camping and info about reserving sites. We do not make reservations for camping, nor do we have anything else to do with the campgrounds.


Trail Guides


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