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Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

The view from Mount Jefferson State Natural Area
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Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

Rising abruptly to more than 1,600 feet above the surrounding landscape, Mount Jefferson is often first viewed at a distance from the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a national natural landmark with a rich history. Five hiking trails allow exploration of rare geology and plant communities in Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, including a child-friendly TRACK trail and a strenuous scramble along the mountain’s ridgeline. Overlooks offer vistas into neighboring states. Picnic grounds with shelter combine scenic views with cool summer temperatures and breezes.

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Celebrate 60 Years of Mt. Jefferson Being a State Park

Celebrate 60 Years of Mount Jefferson as a State Park

In 1956, local papers like the Sky-land Post and the well-known magazine “Our State” were telling the story of North Carolina's newest state park. With little more than 400 acres, Mount Jefferson State Park came into being in October 1956. 
Later, in 1975 that same park would be recognized by The National Parks Service as a National Natural Landmark or a place of natural value for our entire country. Plants rare and endangered began to be noticed here, and soon a few lone American Chestnut trees were discovered on this mountain surviving and defying the blight. Orchids, Big Tooth Aspen, and even a few Hemlock Trees still glisten like jewels in this State Natural Area that is now more than 1,000 acres in size.  

On Oct. 15, join us as we celebrate 60 years of Mount Jefferson State Park. From 11 a.m. to  2 p.m., local Blue Grass music will be played on the mountain with plenty of free cake, snacks, drinks, crafts and hiking all being provided for this celebration. This special place belongs to everyone and everyone is invited. We are also celebrating our state-wide heritage, remembering that North Carolina State Parks are now 100 years old. This year we have a unique opportunity to experience our parks and remember the parks stories. During our Mount Jefferson Celebration, we will invite local residents to share their stories of Mount Jefferson with our staff who can record your words about the area and this old mountain. 

Join us Oct. 15, as we remember the example of those forward looking people who would not rest until their mountain finally became a state park where people can play, explore, and protect the natural diversity of their mountain. We say thank you to those who helped make Mount Jefferson become a park. May we be worthy of their trust and be good stewards of this fragile mountain for all the years to come.  


Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

1481 Mt Jefferson State Park Rd
West JeffersonNC 28694
Latitude: 36.393564
Longitude: -81.468012

Park Hours:

8am - sunset
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office
8am - 5pm weekdays
Closed state holidays