Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon

Plan on making a summer getaway to the mountains? Or in need of a perfect gift? Randy Johnson’s Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon can help with both! Grandfather Mountain highlights the natural beauty and history of one of North Carolina’s best known landmarks. This fabulous book was a finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and also just won two prestigious awards:

  • First Place and Best in Show 2017 Writing and Photography Contest, Eastern Chapter, Society of American Travel Writers
  • 2016 Foreword INDIES Winner for Travel (Adult Nonfiction)

With its prominent profile recognizable for miles around and featuring vistas among the most beloved in the Appalachians, North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain is many things to many people: an easily recognized landmark along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a popular tourist destination, a site of annual Highland Games, and an internationally recognized nature preserve. In this definitive book on Grandfather, Randy Johnson guides readers on a journey through the mountain’s history, from its geological beginnings millennia ago and the early days of exploration to its role in regional development and eventual establishment as a North Carolina state park. Along the way, he shows how Grandfather has changed, and has been changed by, the people of western North Carolina and beyond.

To tell the full natural and human story, Johnson draws not only on historical sources but on his rich personal experience working closely on the mountain alongside Hugh Morton and others. The result is a unique and personal telling of Grandfather’s lasting significance. The book includes more than 200 historical and contemporary photographs, maps, and a practical guide to hiking the extensive trails, appreciating key plant and animal species and photographing the natural wonder that is Grandfather.

Randy Johnson author photoRandy Johnson is an accomplished travel editor and writer. He founded Grandfather Mountain’s modern trail management program in 1978, was backcountry manager until 1990, and serves on Grandfather Mountain State Park’s Advisory Committee.

Here’s what others are saying:

“Beautifully illustrated and packed with fascinating scientific and historical facts, it’s perfect for outdoors enthusiasts who find themselves housebound during a long winter storm.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“This deeply researched book often reads like a novel as Johnson’s passion for his subject shines.”—News and Observer

“An illustrated coffee-table love story. . . . Johnson’s book illustrates the proposition that you should write about what interests you. His passion and enthusiasm for the place oozes from every paragraph.”—Wilmington Star-News

So check it out for yourself and share with your favorite outdoor enthusiast! Summer is the perfect time to visit Grandfather Mountain State Park, and don’t forget to include Grandfather Mountain on your packing list!