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Balsam Nature Trail

A dark view of Mount Mitchell State Park
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Status of park facilities as of July 4rd   

 

The trails inside the state park are open, however, the portion of the Black Mountain Crest trail between Cattail Peak and Bollen's Creek remains closed. You may still hike from Mount Mitchell to Mount Craig and as far as Cattail Peak.

Restrooms are open.

The US Forest Service is not permitting camping  at Commissary Hill or Deep Gap. There is no overnight parking allowed at Mount Mitchell for those sites. 

The campground inside the park is open. 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. 

The following facilities remain closed:
-  The Observation Tower on Weekends (Open during the week, unless overcrowding occurs.)
-  Restaurant
-  Gift Shop and Concessions
-  Museum
-  Park Office

With social distancing practices in place, it may be necessary to close the park gate during the day if overcrowding becomes a problem. 

Please check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. 

To check Blue Ridge Parkway road closures, please visit their website.

 Last updated on: Saturday, July 4, 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
     
  • From May 9 to May 22, 2020, the park will close at sunset.
     
  • 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
     
  • The park office is currently closed until further notice.
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

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

► 

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

► 

  • May 24 to October 31:
    10:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • The concession stand and gift shop are currently closed until further notice.
     

► 

  • July 1 to October 31:
    10:00am to 6:00pm
    Friday through Sunday
     
  • At any other time:
    Please call the park office several days ahead of your visit to schedule this assistance.
     
  • This service is temporarily unavailable until further notice.