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Mount Mitchell State Park Summit Area to Remain Closed

Home >> Newsroom >> Press Releases >> Mount Mitchell State Park Summit Area to Remain Closed
Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Immediate
Contact: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Monday, October 8, 2007
Phone: 
919-218-4622

Mount Mitchell State Park Summit Area to Remain Closed

RALEIGH -- The expected re-opening of the summit area at Mount Mitchell State Park will be delayed until Spring 2008 because construction of a new observation deck cannot be completed before the onset of winter weather, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

The expected completion date for the project was November. However, it likely will be only about 80 percent complete by that time. Construction will continue in 2007 as long as weather permits.

The project includes replacement of an aging concrete tower with a circular observation deck as well as extensive renovation of an 850-foot walking trail to the summit from the park's main parking area. The deck is 10 feet tall and 36.5 feet in diameter with a curved and gently sloping ramp for access as well as benches and interpretive displays.

'The construction season here can often end very abruptly because of the weather,' said Park Superintendent Jack Bradley. 'It's a bit disappointing the new observation deck couldn't be completed before the fall tourist season, but the views from Mount Mitchell are never disappointing. The mountain has many vantage points where a visitor can enjoy the scenery.'

The observation deck will become the sixth structure to crown the 6,684-foot summit, the highest in eastern America. The $1.2 million project is funded by the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the primary funding source for state park capital improvements and land acquisition.