Grandfather Mountain was originally thought to be the highest peak in the Carolinas, and perhaps even in the entire New World, until Elisha Mitchell discovered a higher peak nearby. At 5,964' it's still one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi river. Of course we now know that the New World contained much higher peaks further west but many of those peaks start at a plain level of 5000', whereas the Appalachian's start at a plain level of about 1000'. So a 10,000' peak in Colorado (where the plain is 5200' in Denver) is the equivalent of a 6000' peak in the Appalachians.
Grandfather Mountain is privately owned and requires an entrance fee, but it has some very nice trails and a small zoo containing bears, otters, eagles, mountain lions and deer. It's most famous for it's mile high swinging bridge. This is a good area for people who want to experience nature without having to work too hard for it. You can drive straight to the top, hike a little and return back to gift shop/snack bar.
Location: 36° 5'42.33"N 81°49'52.12"W
Distance from downtown Greenville: 131 miles
Local Geocaches None.