Welcome to the website of The Bear Race held each year during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, one of the largest Scottish Games in the world.

2021 Bear Race

General information concerning the 2021 Bear Race is located in the 2021 Bear Information PDF.

If we have the race this year, we ask that you read through this website before entering so you are aware of the challenge of the race as well as the challenge of the race logistics, including registration, parking and departure from the finish line. All that information will be added to the site once we know the race will be run.


The Bear Race proceeds will go to various charities in the area and the ASU Track Program.

The Race

The Bear race begins in Linville, NC at the corner of Hwy 105 and 221. The race turns right off Highway 221 and winds up steep climbs to McRae Meadows, where the Games are held. It cuts across Highway 221 and up the backside of the Highland Games Track to the Grandfather Road where you run the final 2 miles up 1000 feet of elevation gain.

Your views are breathtaking, especially as you round the famous “Forrest Gump” hairpin turn. You will finish at the top of Grandfather Mountain (over 5000 foot elevation) where you will be greeted by hundreds of fans who are waiting anxiously for their runner and the last runner.

This unique 5-mile race will provide challenges that are overcome by the rewards. It is not a race for individuals planning to walk the entire course. We must have everyone off the finish line area by 9:00 pm so we encourage and expect running and maybe some walking!

All runners not predicted to finish the course by 8:30 pm will be picked up and brought to the finish line.


The online registration link to enter will be located in this location if the race is approved. The online registration will be Tuesday, May 4th at 7:00 am. Please do not attempt to access registration until May 4th at 7:00 am.

If there is an error with your registration, please restart the process.  You may need to clear your web browser cache.

If you have problems registering, you may contact John Weaver at weaverjt@retired.appstate.edu. Do not contact John without trying to register per instructions listed above first and not before 7:30 am.