When Randy Johnson first came to Grandfather Mountain, he was looking to test his resolve in the bitter Appalachian wilderness. Today, he reflects back on a life of tireless dedication to preserving and establishing the Grandfather Mountain that we know today. As the father of the trail system, Johnson’s efforts helped to save the mountain from an uncertain future of private interest and profit. With the implementation of a revolutionary fee-based registration system in the late 70’s, the owner of the land was able to begin much-needed trail reparations. Since then, Grandfather Mountain has flourished as a hugely popular tourist attraction and place of local pride.