Hugh Morton was one of the greatest North Carolinians ever. He truly loved everything about our state, and made sure he did what he could to preserve it with his work at Grandfather Mountain. Sadly, Hugh died in 2006 and the mountain passed to his heirs. I worried then that perhaps his heirs might not be as good at being stewards of such a majestic place, but at the same time I felt like any heirs of someone as great as Hugh must have enough of what Hugh had to want to protect it. As I visited the mountain over the last two years I was very happy to see little had changed except the items put in motion by Hugh before his passing. I even exchanged reassuring emails with one of those heirs.
Now comes the news that the heirs have sold the mountain to the state of North Carolina and Governor Mike Easley has made sure it will become a state park. This should eternally protect the mountain from development while keeping it open for tourists to continue to do what I did, and that's grow up with a great family vacation destination right in their back yard. Thank you to Governor Easley and the legislature of North Carolina. For more on this story, see the WRAL news video here.
In that video, you will note a brief comment from Hugh Morton that just says "Wiseman's View." I don't know how that made it in the editing of the story, but Wiseman's View is not part of Grandfather Mountain. It is yet another of many great overlooks in the mountains of NC, and one I highly recommend to anyone visiting the NC mountains and the areas around Grandfather in particular. Be warned that it is a long drive down a fairly rugged dirt road, but it's usually passable by car (stop at the ranger station on your way in and ask to be sure), but almost always passable by SUV or truck. More info below...
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