The profile trail is a great hike but it is 3.6 miles of mostly uphill on rugged terrain. Permits are required on this trail. They are free and available at the trailhead. We also visited the swinging bridge which was a very short and windy hike with great views.
This is a tough hike but well worth it! Make sure you factor in every mile may take up to 1 hr so bring plenty of water. It’s one of our favorite places to backpack and we have been and will continue to visit year round. As always pack out what you pack in!
NC has a few gems and this is definitely one. I have only scratched the surface, but the 11+ trails, the animal habitats, mile high swinging bridge, and museum are just a few things families should visit. The Highland Games at McCrea Meadows is an awesome camping communal experience that I treasure. This July they just completed a new visitor center at the Profile Trailhead off Hwy 105 - beautiful facility with granite counters, detailed maps, and high pressure water pump to top off your supply. Trail is newly marked/ updated & cleared for easy tracking.
We very much enjoyed our stay at the park! Centered right on top of Grandfather mountain, the hiking was incredible! Trails all around and beautiful views of those Blue Ridge mountains - see my pictures for views from the trails. Sites fill up quick, and of course tourists are abound especially during peak weekends (ie: summer through the fall) but overall an enjoyable stay! Facilities are very nice and clean, most of the time. We very much recommend hiking the 3 peaks - MacRae, Attic Window and Calloway. A very hard and challenging trail with cables and ladders but also very rewarding views! You have to give this campground a shot!