"Beginning as a scenic, rolling pathway through seasonal wildflowers, this trail crosses the Watauga River and travels through rhododendron thickets and under a hardwood canopy for much of its length. Upper sections, beginning around Foscoe View, get steeper and there are frequent rest stops with stone and log benches. Along one notable stretch before the trail reaches a view of the famous Grandfather Profile, hundreds of large boulders were artfully rearranged into a rock walkway called "Peregrine's Flight". Shanty Spring, at 2.7 miles in, marks the transition of this trail into a strenuous pathway of tumble-down rocks that joins the Grandfather Trail after a climb of 0.3 miles."
I found the info above, and photo at left, on http://blog.2sparrows.org/2008/08/06/grandfather-mountain-hike/. It's the Profile Trail segment leading from highway 105 to near the top of Grandfather Mountain. Initially I thought "just how hard can it be to traverse 3.1 miles?"
After checking out some photos and reading the trail summary, 3.1 could be mighty hard.
If the weather is OK, I'm going to lace up my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes, strap on my Nathan 2 liter hydration pack, and take a shot at this Saturday.