Shop Reservations Newsroom

GO TO PARK

Balsam Nature Trail

A dark view of Mount Mitchell State Park
Home >> Mount Mitchell State Park >> Trail >> Balsam Nature Trail
Current status of park facilities   

Restrooms are open.

The summit observation tower is now open every day. 

The gift shop and concessions are now open. It will be operating under reduced hours and will be debit/credit sales only. Face masks and social distancing required.
-  Friday - Tuesday
-  10:00 am to 1:00pm, 2:00pm to 5:30 pm

The park office lobby area is open for self-service information from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

The campground inside the park is open as of 10/20/20. Reservations required; no walk-ins permitted. Reserve online or by calling 1-877-722-6762. There is no check-in at the office. Please go straight to your campsite. No firewood is available for sale. Please bring your own kiln-dried firewood, available at most supermarkets and gas stations. *The website calls them walk-in, but they are same day reservations*

The following facilities remain closed:
-  Restaurant 
-  Museum 

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, and the restaurant parking lots. There is no charge for this. The US Forest Service is not permitting camping at Commissary Hill at the moment. 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.

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

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Campground OPEN   

The 9 site campground at Mount Mitchell State Park will be open as of as of 10/20/20 for reservations.
You must have a reservation to camp. In-person transactions are not performed at the park.

Reservations Phone Number: 877-722-6762
Website: https://northcarolinastateparks.reserveamerica.com/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NC&parkId=552858

 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Park at capacity by 10 a.m. on weekend days   

Mount Mitchell State Park reaches parking capacity most good weather weekend days during the fall season. When all parking spaces are full, incoming traffic will be turned away. Weekdays are the best time to visit. If you plan on visiting on a weekend, visit early in the day or in the late afternoon, and be prepared for alternate plans if the park is full when you arrive.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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

828-675-1888
 


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:
    8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays; closed on weekends
     
  • April to October:
    8:00am to 5:00pm daily
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • The museum is currently closed until further notice.
     
  • May to October:
    10:00am to 6:00pm
     

► 

  • The restaurant is currently closed all year for renovations.
     
  • May 3 to August 31:
    11:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • September 1 to October 31:
    11:00am to 7:00pm
     

► 
 

  • May 24 to November 22:

Friday to Tuesday:
10:00am to 1:00pm, 2:00pm to 5:30pm 
 

► 

  • This service is temporarily unavailable until further notice.
     
  • July 1 to October 31:

Friday to Sunday:
10:00am to 6:00pm
 

  • At any other time:
    Please call the park office several days ahead of your visit to schedule this assistance.