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Trails

Trails

Choose between a short stroll or a more extensive hike into the woods. Either choice will be rewarding as the beauty of the park is best seen from one of its many trails.

Please read the information about hiking safety at the park.

 

Balsam Nature Trail
Location: Upper Summit Parking Lot
Description: This short ¾ mile self-guided nature trail starts at its junction with the Mount Mitchell Trail and ends at the tower summit parking lot. A tiny stream located along this trail is the highest spring in eastern America. Its average temperature is 36 degrees. This spring was a major water source for park personnel during the developmental stages of Mount Mitchell State Park. ALERT : Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ICE on trails.
Point of Interest: Self-guided Interpretive Panels
Length:
0.75 miles
Round Trip
Difficulty:
Moderate
Blaze:
white triangle
Balsam Nature Trail at Mount Mitchell State Park
Surface: Natural surface
Camp Alice Trail
Location: Spur Trail from Old Mitchell Trail to Commissary Trail
Description: This strenuous trail intersects the Old Mitchell Trail ¼ mile from the summit and descends the south side of Mount Mitchell to an area called Camp Alice, an old logging camp for the early 1900’s. The railroad serving Camp Alice was torn up in the early 1920’s and a road opened for vehicles. Between the 20’s and 40’s tourists drove to Camp Alice and then hiked the remaining mile to Mount Mitchell’s summit. Today, nothing remains of Camp Alice and in spite of it’s name, camping is not permitted here. ALERT : Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ICE on trails.
Point of Interest: Camp Alice
Length:
0.50 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Blaze:
Blue Squares
Camp Alice Creek
Surface: Natural surface
Commissary Trail
Location: Park Office
Description: This easy 2.0 mile hike starts at the park office following an old logging railroad bed used in the early 1900's. Logging played a very important part in shaping the look of the Black Mountain Range. After logging was prohibited in this area, the logging railroads were used for bringing tourists into the mountains. ALERT : Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ICE on trails.
Point of Interest: Commissary Ridge
Length:
2.00 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Easy
Blaze:
orange diamond
Commissary Trail in Fall
Surface: Gravel
Deep Gap Trail
Location: Picnic Area
Description: This 4.3 mile trail beginning at the picnic area near the summit of Mount Mitchell has spectacular vistas that are seen on clear days as one hikes this moderate to strenuously difficult trail. As it follows the crests of the Black Mountains, it crosses Mount Craig and Big Tom Mountain. Mount Craig, named for North Carolina Governor Locke Craig, is the second highest peak (6,647 feet) in eastern America. Big Tom Mountain is named for Thomas Wilson (a famous bear hunter) who found Dr. Elisha Mitchell’s body after Mitchell had fallen to his death in 1857. ALERT : Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ICE on trails.
Point of Interest: Mt Craig & Big Tom
Length:
4.30 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Blaze:
orangle triangle
View from Mount Craig on Deep Gap Trail
Surface: Natural surface
Mt Mitchell Trail
Location: Black Mountain Campground (Pisgah National Forest)
Description: Today, this is the trail mainly used to climb Mount Mitchell. The trail begins at the Black Mountain Campground (operated by the U.S. Forest Service) and ends at the summit. This 6-mile trail requires about 4 and ½ hours of strenuous hiking to reach the top and 3 and ½ to return. Numerous dead trees (killed mainly by sub-zero temperatures and high winter winds) are seen as on near the top of Mount Mitchell. ALERT 1: Mt Mitchell State Park does NOT provide a shuttle service back to trail head at Black Mountain Campground. Arrangements can be made with (Hiker Transport) Yancey County Transit Authority at 828-682-6144. (*requires 48 hour advanced notice and fee) ALERT 2: Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell chilly, even in summer. Beware of ICE on trails.
Point of Interest: Mt Mitchell Summit
Length:
6.00 miles
One-way
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Blaze:
Blue Diamonds
Surface: Natural surface
Contact:

Mount Mitchell State Park

2388 State Highway 128
BurnsvilleNC 28714
Phone828-675-4611
mount.mitchell@ncparks.gov
Latitude: 35.752800
Longitude: -82.273700

Park Hours:

November - February: 7am - 6pm
March, April: - 7am - 8pm
September, October: 7am - 9pm
May - August: 7am - 10pm
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office Hours:
8am - 5pm Monday - Sunday, April - October
8am - 5pm Monday - Friday, November - March

Museum Hours
May - October: 10am - 6pm 

Restaurant Hours: 
Ph 
828-675-1024 
May 1 - August 31, 10am - 8pm daily
September 1 - October 31, 10am - 7pm daily

Concession Stand / Gift Shop:
May - October, 10am - 6pm daily