elk knob state park.
Our original plan was to head towards Grandfather Mountain and do that crazy trail, but we arrived into Wilksboro, NC around 12:00pm in the afternoon and determined after a little research that we wouldn't have enough time to complete it. It's a VERY rough trail, and when we do make that venture for it, Caroline, unfortunately, will not be attending.
So that brings us to a NC State Park not far from Grandfather -- ELK KNOB STATE PARK. Located in Todd, NC with (according to reviews) amazing mountain top overlooks, because, come to find out, Elk Knob State Park has one of the highest peak in NC, even better. :)
Once we reached the park entrance we had already traveled through a small town, and it had appeared we were in the middle of nowhere. The roads are curvy and we noticed quite a dramatic change in temperature. Back home it was a wonderful perfect day in the high 60's(F)...here it was 38(F).
We made a pit stop at the Park Ranger Station where we obtained our NC State Park Passport. As the NC park system turned 100 years old last year and in an effort to get people hiking, this great adventure seeking passport was created. As we had been attempting to visit all 50 state parks, we didn't know about this great opportunity to dive a little deeper. As you reach certain milestones in the passport and obtain more stamps, you are rewarded apparently with "prize packs". We shall see what this really entails, as we are going to do some backtracking and try to get ALL of the 50 stamps by year 2017's end.
After this informative stop, where the Ranger also informed us that the peak views on the main Summit Trail would not be visible that particular day because of the foggy conditions. We decided to take on the Backcountry Trail (2M).