Two Celebrated North Carolina High Country Landmarks Commemorate Anniversaries

The Linn Cove Viaduct soars across the flank of Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Randy Johnson.

Two landmark bridges in the North Carolina High Country near Boone celebrate anniversaries this month with major events and activities planned for Tuesday September 11, 2012.

The Grandfather Mountain portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway sees the 25th anniversary of the iconic Linn Cove Viaduct, opened in 1987 as the final “missing link” of the road. And the private Grandfather Mountain attraction, operated by a non-profit stewardship foundation, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the famous Mile-High Swinging Bridge.

The Tuesday events at the viaduct occur at Milepost 304 on the Parkway, at the Linn Cove Visitor Center, south of Blowing Rock. The span is known for its low environmental impact. The other events occur at the Top Shop visitor facility by the Swinging Bridge, reached from US 221 near Linville.The Swinging Bridge is famed as the centerpiece of millions of traveler's photos at the Grandfather Mountain attraction.

Events throughout the day are as follows:

11:00 a.m.: Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center Open House and 25th
Anniversary Celebration, historic photos will be on display and
those who have a personal connection to the building of the
Viaduct or simply enjoy the beauty of the area are invited to
stop by the Visitor Center throughout the day.
Milepost 304, Blue Ridge Parkway.

12:00 p.m.: “Steel and Stone: The Nature Preserved by the Linn Cove
Viaduct” one-hour, strenuous hike through the nature saved by
the viaduct, led by Blue Ridge Parkway interpretive ranger.
Bring water and good hiking shoes.

Hike departs from Linn CoveViaduct Visitor Center, Milepost
304.

1:00 p.m.: “A Mountain Majesty: At Last, the Missing Link is Complete”
thirty-minute, easy hike under a portion of the Linn Cove
Viaduct, led by Blue Ridge Parkway interpretive ranger.
Hike departs from Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center, Milepost
304.

2:00 p.m.: "60 Years of the Swinging Bridge" forty-five minute,
guided program led by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship
Foundation Director of Education and Natural Resources Jesse
Pope focusing on the Bridge's history, famous visitors and much
more.
Top Shop/Swinging Bridge parking lot at Grandfather Mountain.

“Steel and Stone: The Nature Preserved by the Linn Cove Viaduct”
hike repeated.

3:00 p.m.: “A Mountain Majesty: At Last, the Missing Link is Complete”
hike repeated.

3:30 p.m.: Swinging Bridge & Viaduct Anniversary Commemoration with
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Vice President
Harris Prevost and Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Phil
Francis. Event features local musicians.
Top Shop/Swinging Bridge parking lot at Grandfather Mountain.

4:15 p.m.: "60 Years of the Swinging Bridge" forty-five minute,
guided program led by Grandfather Mountain Stewardship
Foundation Director of Education and Natural Resources Jesse
Pope focusing on the Bridge's history, famous visitors and much
more.
Top Shop/Swinging Bridge parking lot at Grandfather Mountain.

Shuttles will run from 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. from the Black Rock Parking Area to
the Top Shop/Swinging Bridge Parking lot at Grandfather Mountain.