Stronger, safer ladders installed on trails at Grandfather Mountain

Hikers taking the trek across Grandfather Mountain’s ridgeline can now enjoy five new ladders on the Grandfather Trail. The new ladders on MacRae Cliff replace the old ones that had been up for decades.

The five ladders are all in a row, and transport hikers along a steep rock cliff. Members of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Interpretive Staff worked for months planning the project. Wood, cables and bolts had to be purchased, ladder posts and rungs had to be cut to size, and corners and edges had to be smoothed before each piece of equipment was carried out into the backcountry.

Carriage bolts were used in place of nails on the new ladders. The carriage bolts run through the rungs and posts and are much thicker and stronger than nails. In addition, cables that provide extra support for the ladders’ placement are now anchored more than an inch deeper than in the past.

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