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Trails

A dark view of Mount Mitchell State Park
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


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.
     

 

 

 

List of 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 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.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.75 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
white triangle

Camp Alice Trail
Location: Spur trail from Old Mitchell Trail to Commissary Trail

Description:

This strenuous trail intersects the Old Mitchell Trail 0.25 mile from the summit and descends the south side of Mount Mitchell to an area called Camp Alice, an old logging camp from the early 1900s. The railroad serving Camp Alice was torn up in the early 1920s and a road opened for vehicles. Between the 1920s and 1940s, 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 its 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.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
Blue Squares

Commissary Trail
Location: Park office

Description:

This easy 2-mile hike starts at the park office and follows an old logging railroad bed used in the early 1900s. 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.

 


Surface: gravel

Length:
2.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
orange diamond

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 moderately 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. This trail follows the Black Mountain Crest Trail, which extends 7 more miles into the Pisgah National Forest.

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.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
4.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
orangle triangle

Mount 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 4.5 hours of strenuous hiking to reach the top and 3.5 hours to return. Numerous dead trees (killed mainly by sub-zero temperatures and high winter winds) are seen as hikers near the top of Mount Mitchell.

ALERT: Mount 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: 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.

 


Surface: natural surface

Length:
6.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
strenuous hike
Blaze:
Blue Diamonds