The bridge and animals are great! The options for picnics are endless. To get through the gate expect long lines and high prices.
Thanks for writing! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your time on the mountain. Regarding the long lines, it would appear you visited during one of our busiest times of year -- April Dollar Days. For the month of April, we offer discounted admission to local residents, meaning the lines can grow rather long this time of year. I assure you, that is not always the case, and I do apologize for the inconvenience.
As for our prices, you may be interested to know that we're a nonprofit organization, with a mission of inspiring conservation of the natural world. As such, all of our funding is derived from admission, souvenir sales, food and beverage sales, and donations, and every single dollar goes right back into maintaining and preserving the mountain for future generations. We do, however, offer numerous discounts, such as AAA, military, senior citizen, etc., which can apply to every member of one's party.
Again, thank you for the great review, and we look forward to having you and yours back on the mountain -- maybe for another picnic. ;-)
Director of Marketing & Communications
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation