TrailheadsTynecastle - Westside
Coming from Boone drive on HWY 105 towards Linville. About 1 mile before reaching Tynecastle turn left on Trailhead/Hiking trail sign. There is a parking lot and a information board with a trail map.
Blue Ridge Parkway - Eastside
Coming from Blowing Rock park your car at the Boone Fork Overlook/Parking lot, close to mile marker 302 on the BRP.
A great hiking experience on Grandfather Mountain or Tanawah is to hike over the Calloway Peak and descend on the other side of the mountain. I'll introduce you to the route starting with the Profile Trail (west side) and coming down towards the Blue Ridge Parkway via Boone Scout Trail (east side), Cragway and Nuwati Trail. Calloway Peak is the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Don't forget to park a shuttle car at your destination - no public transport available.
Start at the parking lot right next to HWY 105 near Tynecastle. The Profile Trail is a moderate strenuous hike for about one hour up to Shanty Spring. Past the spring the trail is renamed into Cragway Trail and is becoming much steeper. The trail itself leads now over some big boulder fields until it tops out at the ridge of Grandfather. To climb Calloway Peak turn left on the ridge and reach the summit, climbing over 2 wooden ladders and some taller rock boulders. Enjoy the the gorgeous views from the peak. On cold and clear spring days sometimes the skyline of Charlotte (90 mi distance) is visible at the horizon.
On the descent to the east side there are 3 more ladders and a short steel cable to hold onto. After that the trail winds itself through the fir woods until it reaches the fork of Boone Scout Trail and Cragway. Turn left onto Crag Way Trail and it leads you to some incredible overlooks on the edge of the Crag Way. The Crag Way Trail merges into Nuwati Trail, take a right here and hike back to the Boone Fork Trailhead via the Tanawah Trail.
Total hiking distance is about 6-1/ 2 miles.
Weather can change rapidly on Grandfather, so be prepared if the forecast is not predicting stable weather conditions. Expect high windspeeds on the ridge. (measured wind speed record Feb 2006 - over 200 mph)
Good hiking gear is required. In freezing temperatures expect big patches of ice on the trail and on rockfaces where the ladders are. Just be careful there is space to walk around, no crampons required.