April Dollar Days return to Grandfather Mountain

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Mar. 20, 2013 | Modified: Mar. 26, 2013
April Dollar Days return to Grandfather Mountain

You otter go to Grandfather Mountain this April.

Photo by Helen Moss Davis

All those who work and reside in the six High Country counties, along with guests traveling in the same vehicle, are invited to visit Grandfather Mountain for $2 a person during the month of April with proof of local employment or residency.

The special April Dollar Days $2 admission is offered to residents and those working in the six counties represented by the N.C. High Country Host regional travel promotion organization: Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes counties.

The discount is also extended to students attending colleges and universities in the High Country and to guests traveling in the same vehicle with those eligible for the April discount. Those planning a visit will need to present a driver’s license, college ID or local utility bill as proof of High Country residency. An employee identification badge or pay stub can be used to show employment at a High Country business.

“We are happy to be able to offer this special discount admission to residents of the High Country Host counties again this year,” said Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation president Penn Dameron. “This is our way of thanking local residents for the support they give us.”

And according to Grandfather staff, April is an incredible time to visit the mountain. This time of year offers guests the opportunity to enjoy the initial signs of warmer weather and witness the unique environment coming alive as spring sets in.

“The first wildflowers are expected to breach the surface of the forest floor any day now, offering a stunning display of the beauty annually brought by the warm weather,” a Grandfather Mountain spokesperson said.

The animals in the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats, including cougars, river otters and white-tailed deer, can be photographed from close range in their natural surroundings. Each of these North Carolina indigenous species are more active as the temperatures slowly rise in the month of April. The habitat’s black bears will also be spotted more frequently from overlooks as the weather warms up.

Guests this year will also be lucky enough to welcome two new additions to the Animal Habitats: two bald eagles. The new residents will soon be featured in the newly renovated, fully enclosed eagle habitat.

“This time of the year also provides an opportunity to pick up some food from Mildred’s Grill, located in the Nature Museum, and take it to one of the Mountain’s 100 picnic tables,” the spokesperson said. “Just down the path, Grandfather’s Fudge Shop has 20 tasty flavors to choose from.”

One sure way to get some fresh air during a visit to Grandfather is to walk on the Black Rock Nature Trail that runs out a mile and back through northern hardwood and spruce forests. This trail is marked with interpretive signs that give hikers interesting facts about the nature around them.

Grandfather Mountain is open every day in April, weather permitting. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with admission sales ending at 4 p.m. For current conditions, phone the Grandfather Mountain entrance gate at (828) 733-4337, or visit http://www.grandfather.com.

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