This is a moderate -- yet primitive -- out and back trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail is named after the original Cherokee name for the nearby Grandfather's Mountain. The original Cherokee name for the mountain was “Tanawha,” meaning “a fabulous hawk or eagle.” It was named “Grandfather” by pioneers who recognized the face of an old man in one of the cliffs. The Tanawha Trail was built in 1993 with access points along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
There are a number of overlooks that have spurs to the trail. I parked at the Rough Ridge lot and jumped on the trail there. To hike the full length, park at Beacon Heights or Price Lake. There are two offshoot trails -- Daniel Boone Scout Trail and Nuwati Trail that will lead you into the neighboring Grandfather Mountain State Park.
It's a primitive trail and can be a real ankle turner due to a mix of tree roots and rocks. Make smart decisions regarding the safety of children.
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There are no published trips for this hike. There are 4 private trips.
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