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Balsam Nature Trail

A dark view of Mount Mitchell State Park
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PARK STATUS    

We are open. (The Blue Ridge Parkway is now open from both the North and South of the park.)

The following facilities are CLOSED:
     Restaurant (Will only open in 2023)
     Restrooms at the Summit (TBA)   
     
The following facilities are now OPEN for the season:
       Campground
       Park Office
       Museum
       Gift Shop
       Concessions
Overnight parking is permitted for people backcountry camping in the surrounding National Forest. Please fill out a parking pass and leave it on the dashboard of your car. Passes are located in the boxes where the overnight parking signs are at the summit parking lot. There is no overnight parking permitted at the park office.
 
Please check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. 
 
To check Blue Ridge Parkway road closures, please visit their website at https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm#13/35.5826/-82.4749 (Mount Mitchell is located at Mile Marker 355.)

Please note that this alert is updated only when something changes.

 Last updated on: Sunday, June 12, 2022

Balsam Nature Trail

Balsam Nature Trail at Mount Mitchell State Park

This short 0.75-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.

Trail Location: 
Upper summit parking lot
Trail Point of Interest: 
Self-guided interpretive panels
Trail Length: 
0.75 miles
Trail Type: 
loop
Trail Difficulty: 
moderate hike
Trail Use: 
Hiking
TRACK Trail
Trail Surface: 
natural surface
Trail Blaze: 
white triangle

Map of North Carolina – Mount Mitchell State Park


Contact the park
 

828-675-4611

mount.mitchell@ncparks.gov

 

Restaurant


 


Address
 

Park office

2388 N.C. 128
Burnsville, NC 28714

GPS: 35.7528, -82.2737
 

Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 
 

  • November to March:
    9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays; closed on weekends
     
  • April to October:
    9:00am to 5:00pm daily
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • May to October:
    10:00am to 6:00pm
     

► 

  • The restaurant will be closed in 2022 for renovations.
     
  • CLOSED
     
  • CLOSED
     


 

  • May 13 to October 31:

9:30am to 5:00pm 
 

► 
 

  • May to October: Please call the park office several days ahead of your visit to schedule this assistance.