|Mount Mitchell State Park (35.753561, -82.274409)
Trail Map: .jpg, .pdf
Trails: 32.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy - strenuous
8 AM - 6 PM Nov - Feb
8 AM - 8 PM March, April, Sept, Oct
8 AM - 9 PM May - Aug
Closed December 25th
8 AM - 5 PM Mon - Sun, April - Oct
8 AM - 5 PM Mon - Fri, Nov - March
In the early 1900s, extensive logging decimated the Black Mountain range forests. People started voicing their concerns about the destruction of the forests, and in 1915, Mount Mitchell State Park became North Carolina's first state park. Mount Mitchell is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet. What makes this park unique is that the climate, plants, and animals are more that of what is normally found in northern alpine environments.
When hiking in Mount Mitchell, make sure to dress in layers and bring extra food, water, and supplies, as the high altitude is often chilly and the climate unpredictable and can change instantly. Always be on the lookout for bears, and be sure to walk the short Summit Trail to the stone observation platform. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear day, you can see as far as 85 miles across Pisgah National Forest. You may also see peregrine falcons fly by.
Balsam Nature Trail (0.75 mile, easy)
Camp Alice Trail (0.75 mile, strenuous)
Campground Spur (0.4 mile, moderate)
Commissary Trail (2 miles, easy)
Deep Gap Trail (4.5 miles, strenuous)
Mount Mitchell Trail (6 miles, strenuous)
Mountains-to-Sea Trail (16 miles, strenuous)
Old Mitchell Trail (2 miles, strenuous)
Summit Trail (0.1 mile, easy)
Those of northern alpine environments. Red crossbills and golden-crowned kinglets nest at these high altitudes. During the spring and summer, you may see the ruffed grouse. Merlin, peregrine falcon, white-tailed deer, black bear, northern flying squirrel, saw-whet owl, salamander, bobcat, and gray fox are also found here.
Those of northern alpine environments. Red spruce, fraser fir, galax, mountain holly, mountain laurel, mountain ash, mountain maple, ox-eye daisy, pink turtlehead, and various orchids.
National Natural Landmarks Program - Mount Mitchell