Find Spartanburg events and things to do, including concerts, art walks, sporting events and nightlife entertainment. Be sure to also check out our outdoors guide for the Upstate and a listing of museums and galleries.

Interested in adding an event to our calendar? Please click the green “Post Your Event” button below.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Mile High Swinging Bridge
Apr 16 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
Apr 16 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Apr 16 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE ALONG SIDE THE BEAUTIFUL NANTAHALA RIVER ON OUR NANTAHALA GORGE EXCURSION! DEPARTING FROM BRYSON CITY, THIS 4½ HOUR ROUNDTRIP EXCURSION CARRIES YOU 44 MILES TO THE NANTAHALA GORGE AND BACK AGAIN ARRIVING AT OUR BRYSON CITY DEPOT.

Ride this excursion via Steam or Diesel locomotive power!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling along the Tennessee and Nantahala (nan-tuh-HAY-luh) River. The historic trellis bridge Fontana Trestle takes you across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Onboard dining is available in First Class Seating and selecting from our First Class dining menu options OR you can pre-purchase a box lunch option to make this an amazing unique moving dining experience. Arrive at our layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge for a one-hour layover where you can relax by the river or enjoy sightseeing!

Itinerary

30m before departure Boarding begins at Bryson City Depot
See schedule for departure time Depart Bryson City, NC
1h 45m Reach top of the line
2h 00m Begin return
2h 30m—3h 30m Layover
3h 30m Depart Layover
4h 30m Arrive at Bryson City Depot
Time from Departure Activity
Bird Watching
Apr 16 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Cowpens Library

Learn how to find and identify birds and the tools you will need to become a bird watcher. A bird watching kit will be raffled off at the program.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Mile High Swinging Bridge
Apr 17 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
Apr 17 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Apr 17 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE ALONG SIDE THE BEAUTIFUL NANTAHALA RIVER ON OUR NANTAHALA GORGE EXCURSION! DEPARTING FROM BRYSON CITY, THIS 4½ HOUR ROUNDTRIP EXCURSION CARRIES YOU 44 MILES TO THE NANTAHALA GORGE AND BACK AGAIN ARRIVING AT OUR BRYSON CITY DEPOT.

Ride this excursion via Steam or Diesel locomotive power!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling along the Tennessee and Nantahala (nan-tuh-HAY-luh) River. The historic trellis bridge Fontana Trestle takes you across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Onboard dining is available in First Class Seating and selecting from our First Class dining menu options OR you can pre-purchase a box lunch option to make this an amazing unique moving dining experience. Arrive at our layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge for a one-hour layover where you can relax by the river or enjoy sightseeing!

Itinerary

30m before departure Boarding begins at Bryson City Depot
See schedule for departure time Depart Bryson City, NC
1h 45m Reach top of the line
2h 00m Begin return
2h 30m—3h 30m Layover
3h 30m Depart Layover
4h 30m Arrive at Bryson City Depot
Time from Departure Activity
VOLUNTEER WORKDAY: WOODSIDE AVENUE LITTER SWEEP
Apr 17 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Woodside Ave

Join us on Friday, May 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm for an afternoon of volunteering at the Long Branch Mitigation property, a protected property adjacent to Woodside Avenue in Greenville.

Participants will help remove litter from this property that serves as refugia for many birds and other wildlife. Volunteers will learn about the site’s history and how it came to be protected by a conservation easement. Please wear long pants and close-toed shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided.

Thursday, April 18, 2024
BRING ON SPRING w/ Nantahala Outdoor Center
Apr 18 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

 

Mile High Swinging Bridge
Apr 18 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
Apr 18 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Apr 18 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE ALONG SIDE THE BEAUTIFUL NANTAHALA RIVER ON OUR NANTAHALA GORGE EXCURSION! DEPARTING FROM BRYSON CITY, THIS 4½ HOUR ROUNDTRIP EXCURSION CARRIES YOU 44 MILES TO THE NANTAHALA GORGE AND BACK AGAIN ARRIVING AT OUR BRYSON CITY DEPOT.

Ride this excursion via Steam or Diesel locomotive power!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling along the Tennessee and Nantahala (nan-tuh-HAY-luh) River. The historic trellis bridge Fontana Trestle takes you across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Onboard dining is available in First Class Seating and selecting from our First Class dining menu options OR you can pre-purchase a box lunch option to make this an amazing unique moving dining experience. Arrive at our layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge for a one-hour layover where you can relax by the river or enjoy sightseeing!

Itinerary

30m before departure Boarding begins at Bryson City Depot
See schedule for departure time Depart Bryson City, NC
1h 45m Reach top of the line
2h 00m Begin return
2h 30m—3h 30m Layover
3h 30m Depart Layover
4h 30m Arrive at Bryson City Depot
Time from Departure Activity
Downtown Alive
Apr 18 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
NOMA Square

Outdoor concerts bringing live music to downtown Greenville kick off this week.

Piedmont Natural Gas Downtown Alive and Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays will return to NOMA Square for the 2024 season with a lineup of new and returning artists.

Downtown Alive starts Thursday, March 14 with performances by Linda Faye’s Sound. Benefiting the Metropolitan Arts Council, the weekly music series runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday until late August.

April 4, Darby Wilcox & The Peep Show

April 11, The Well Drinkers

April 18, Cash Machine

April 25, Gold Road

May 2, DJ Tambition

May 9, Mark Webb Jr.

May 16, Nathan Angelo

May 23, Bucko with Sunhouse

May 30, Threesound

June 6, Tuba Gin

June 13, Funcle

June 20, Randomonium

June 27, Juno Dunes

July 11, Andrew Scotchie

July 18, The Wobblers

July 25, Kendall Lanford

August 1, The Shady Recruits

August 8, BR385

August 15, Run Katie Run

August 22, Wilder Things Than Us

August 29, Gimmie the Gig Winner
Friday, April 19, 2024
BRING ON SPRING w/ Nantahala Outdoor Center
Apr 19 all-day
Nantahala Outdoor Center

 

Mile High Swinging Bridge
Apr 19 all-day
Grandfather Mountain

One of the top highlights and memories of visits to Grandfather Mountain nature park is walking across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Since 1952, visitors have “oohed” and “aahed” at the bridge’s 360-degree panoramic views. America’s highest suspension footbridge gives easy access to the spectacular views atop Grandfather Mountain’s Linville Peak, elevation 5,305 feet.

The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation (hence the name!). To reach the Mile High Swinging Bridge, drive the two-mile, winding scenic road up the mountain to the summit parking area by the Top Shop. Climb 50 stairs adjacent to the parking area or inside the Top Shop to reach the short pathway to the bridge. Also, an elevator in the Top Shop takes you to the third floor for a level walk to the bridge.

Top Shop

Located adjacent to the Bridge, the Top Shop features a gift shop, snacks, restrooms, elevator and second-floor exhibition area. Also get the latest park information and trail maps. Read more.

Accessibility

Inside the Top Shop, an elevator makes the Mile High Swinging Bridge accessible to people with mobility challenges, including those in wheelchairs. From the Top Shop, there is a paved 50-yard path to the bridge. Read more about our accessibility.

Tickets & Hours

Walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge is included in your Grandfather Mountain admission ticket that includes many other things to do in our nature park. Buy tickets online and book a reservation time to enter the park. You do not need a separate reservation for the bridge. It’s open, weather permitting, every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. See hours.

More to Explore

Before or after visiting the Mile High Swinging Bridge, allow time to enjoy other parts of the mountain: wildlife habitats, Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, restaurant, hiking trails, roadside overlooks, picnic areas and more. See more Things to Do.

Nearby Hiking Trails

Trailheads to many of the Grandfather Mountain hiking trails are located near the Swinging Bridge. In fact, the 0.4 mile Bridge Trail takes you beneath the bridge, starting from the Black Rock parking area just below the summit. For details on our nearby trails, go to our Hiking Guide.

Bridge Tips & Tidbits

  • Does it really swing? Very little — unlike the original one. Today’s bridge is made of steel and reinforced with cables and springs. It has railings on the sides to ensure safety.
  • We suggest you wear rubber-soled shoes and walk with care when crossing the rocks on the far side of the bridge.
  • If heights give you pause, you can still enjoy Blue Ridge Mountain views from the ground before you reach the bridge and even from the parking area.
  • Due to periodic extreme weather conditions at the bridge, it closes when there is area lightning, high wind or icy conditions.
  • The official U.S. Weather Service Reporting Station atop the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided daily weather observations since 1955. The temperature is usually 10 to 20 degrees cooler than in the flatlands you see below. It’s also one of the windiest locations in North Carolina, with a 124-mph record set in winter 2019. Learn more about our weather.
  • Pets are allowed on the bridge if well behaved and on a leash.
  • Photographs and videos to remember your visit are encouraged. Be mindful of sharp drop-offs along the Linville Peak ridge. Drones are not allowed. See our photography policies.
  • The Singing Bridge? When the wind blows, the Mile High Swinging Bridge “sings” in the same way as a harmonica.
  • In April through October, join Grandfather’s expert naturalists by the Bridge for Interpretive Talks about the our unique weather, climate, flora and fauna. Read more.
  • Need driving directions? The address for Grandfather Mountain’s entrance gate is 2050 Blowing Rock Highway, Linville, NC 28646 (click link for Google Maps). There are no shuttles, so you must have your own vehicle to explore our nature park. No RVs longer than 28 feet in length or hinged vehicles are allowed through the Entrance Gate. See detailed directions.
  • To see much more info, see our Plan Your Visit section.

Mile High Swinging Bridge History

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name “Mile High Swinging Bridge” at the Bridge’s dedication in 1952. The term “mile high” refers to the structure’s elevation above sea level (5,280 feet). The term “swinging” refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

The original 1952 bridge was designed by Charles Hartmann Jr. of Greensboro, N.C. It was fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost was $15,000. It was dedicated on Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.

The bridge was rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now, Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. It was redesigned by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C., and rebuilt by Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville. The cost of rebuilding was $300,000.

Raft + Rail A Fully Guided Experience
Apr 19 all-day
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The original Raft & Rail© since 1988: enjoy the two best adventures in the region in one day, great for families. Southern Living Magazine calls this “an ideal adventure for families, first-timers, young or old.” This full-day guided adventure starts with a Wildwater staff member greeting you at the train depot, followed by a scenic train trip, deli lunch with all the fixings, and a Nantahala River whitewater trip with a guide in every boat. Hot showers and a photo show follow immediately after your 8-mile Nantahala River trip. All transportation is included to and from the Bryson City Train Depot. Available April–October with the morning departure of the Nantahala Gorge Excursion departing Bryson City, NC. Train seating in Open Air Gondola. 2024 bookings starting soon!

Ticket fares subject to 7% Historic Preservation Fee and 7% North Carolina sales tax. Schedules, fares, motive power, equipment, seat selection, and meals are subject to change without notice. We guarantee the class of service you select. You will be notified if a change in schedule or motive power affects your reservation. Payment in full at booking by major credit card is required to finalize a reservation. You may cancel your reservation in full or in part and receive a refund less a $14.00 fee per adult ticket and $7.00 fee per child ticket as late as 5 days before departure, except The Polar Express Train Ride; The Polar Express Train Ride is as late as 60 days before departure. Within 5 days of the departure, or 60 days in the case of the Polar Express Train Ride, the reservation becomes nonrefundable. You may reschedule any time prior to your originally scheduled departure with a $7.00 fee per ticket for another date within the same calendar year. You may not reschedule a reservation after the scheduled departure.

Women’s Wilderness Weekend
Apr 19 @ 8:00 am – Apr 21 @ 4:00 pm
Nantahala Outdoor Center

Women’s Wilderness Weekend is a fun and interactive event where we will learn the fundamental basics for survival, get hands-on in the wilderness, and spend quality time in the company of experienced teachers and like-minded women. The weekend includes hands-on education, Wilderness First Aid Certification and wilderness survival skills training and time to hang out by the firepit one evening.

What You’ll Learn

  • Knife Anatomy & Safety
  • Essential Knots
  • Shelter Building
  • Water Collecting
  • Firecraft
  • Signaling
  • Patient Assessment
  • Treatment of Life-Threatening Conditions
  • Splinting
  • Management of Environmental Hazards

What to Expect

Participants should arrive by 8:00am on Friday at the SOLO Southeast Classroom on NOC’s main campus in Bryson City, NC. The conclusion of each day will depend on the group and activities. Women’s weekend will include a fireside gathering one evening for anyone interested in attending. Students will observe and participate in both indoor and outdoor scenarios, so please dress appropriately for the season.

Dates

Women’s Wilderness Weekend

DATES LOCATION
Apr 19-21, 2024 Bryson City, NC
Oct 11-13, 2024 Bryson City, NC
NC Arboretum Hiking Trails
Apr 19 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
NC Arboretum

Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.

Part of a running group that would like to use the Arboretum as a starting point or parking location? Please review our Running Group Guidance and email [email protected] with any questions.

Tuckasegee River Excursion
Apr 19 @ 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

TAKE A TRAIN RIDE ALONG SIDE THE BEAUTIFUL NANTAHALA RIVER ON OUR NANTAHALA GORGE EXCURSION! DEPARTING FROM BRYSON CITY, THIS 4½ HOUR ROUNDTRIP EXCURSION CARRIES YOU 44 MILES TO THE NANTAHALA GORGE AND BACK AGAIN ARRIVING AT OUR BRYSON CITY DEPOT.

Ride this excursion via Steam or Diesel locomotive power!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling along the Tennessee and Nantahala (nan-tuh-HAY-luh) River. The historic trellis bridge Fontana Trestle takes you across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Onboard dining is available in First Class Seating and selecting from our First Class dining menu options OR you can pre-purchase a box lunch option to make this an amazing unique moving dining experience. Arrive at our layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge for a one-hour layover where you can relax by the river or enjoy sightseeing!

Itinerary

30m before departure Boarding begins at Bryson City Depot
See schedule for departure time Depart Bryson City, NC
1h 45m Reach top of the line
2h 00m Begin return
2h 30m—3h 30m Layover
3h 30m Depart Layover
4h 30m Arrive at Bryson City Depot
Time from Departure Activity
Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays
Apr 19 @ 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
NOMA Square

Wind up the work week at Greenville Heritage Main Street Fridays presented by Pepsi, listening and dancing to the best in musical entertainment.

FREE ADMISSION

This weekly music series on Main Street at NOMA Square opens at 5:30 p.m. and closes at 9:30 p.m., with bands playing two sets at 5:50 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. NOMA Square chairs go fast, so bring a tailgating chair if you are not arriving early.