There are a few places in the world that still stand apart from the ordinary. Rising more than a mile high, surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary places. In the crest of the timeworn Black Mountains lies the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. For those who ascend this mighty peak, what looms in the horizon is a feast for the eyesbreathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rolling ridges and fertile valleys. Forested and forever misty, 1,946-acre Mount Mitchell State Park will provide you with some of the most tranquil moments you'll ever experience.
Definitely will test your strength so wouldn't suggest this as your first hiking experience but the whole hike is filled with great views. Coming down you have to be careful with all the roots and rock it can be very easy to injure a foot or leg and to trip and fall
Hiked with my daughter age 9 from Bowlens creek off of Watershed RD. Hiked to deep Gap day 1. It was 8 miles and 4000 feet of elevation gain (7 hours) then day 2 hiked to Mt Mitchell Summit 3.8 miles approx 2000 ft of elevation gain (5 hours) so in total your pushing 12 miles and approx 6000 ft of elevation gain. Most brining in the first 4 miles but there are a few more big climbs along the way.
The trail it's self is the hardest we have encountered. We have done a lot of hiking, always trying to find the toughest trails and take them on. (This one is the toughest) not a starter hike.
Another obstacle was getting a ride to the trail head. I parked my car at the upper parking area and needed to catch a ride to the trail head at bowlens creek. I called several shuttle services but none covered that specific area. I ended up finding (Yancey County Transportation Authority) 828 682- 6144. I scheduled my ride a week in advance for $21 per person. The bus was nice and the driver gave lots of facts and cool stories about the trail and mountain range. I highly recommend going this route.
In summary this trail goes over 7 summits over 6000 feet it is one of the hardest in the east. It is very rewarding with awesome views and some major changes in scenery along the route. If you are looking for a challenge Go For It. If you are uncertain of you physical abilities or are inexperienced choose another route.
Also don't judge this review based off the fact that I did it with my 9 year old daughter
She is also an experienced hiker/ climber. I would not recommend not bringing young children on this trail unless they have been training for it and you are sure of their physical ability and capability to climb and move through rocky and rough terrain.
The last thing I will leave you with is bring lots of water. We went in November when it was cold carrying more than a gallon of water per person and still ran out in the last mile.
Nice workout but the trail is predominately roots and rocks. That wouldn't be too bad but, in October, leaves are covering the trail so it's tough to tell what you're stepping on in many areas. Going up is not bad because a lot of your weight is still on the downhill foot but coming down is tricky as your weight is on the landing foot which tried to roll numerous times. 2 hr 50 min to go up and 2:20 coming down. Snow flurries at the top were cool. Would like to try it at a different time of year.
Did this as an out and back to Winter Star in late October. Enjoyable trail, well maintained, with a very nice set of overlooks about 2 miles in before the trail gets tougher. The piled loose leaves did make it a little slick, and the last 1/2 mile of CRT is a little dicey, but not bad if you take your time.
Much colder than I expected today, with light snow at the top and major winds the whole way.
I have been to the summit a couple times now...the first visit I hiked up the Old Mitchell Trail and the second time with the family we parked in the upper parking lot. Regardless of how you get there, it definitely deserves five stars for the views. The last visit was on an unusually cold May morning with beautiful ice crystals/snow falling and shining in the intermittent sun! I can't wait to get back to see what the next visit will bring!
I hiked the trail from the Camp Alice junction up to its end at the park entrance/headquarters. It is an easy gravel road with a little bit of climb, but the wonderful views most of the way make it very worthwhile. I included this in a great loop with Old Mitchell, Camp Alice and of course the Mt. Mitchell summit.
Came out to summit Mount Mitchell, wanted to try the longer, 6 mile trail, but opted to test myself on the shorter, Old Mitchell Trail, and it did not disappoint. The altitude gave me a great workout, the trail itself was technical, but I had a blast. It made making it to the summit all the more worth it. Love this trail, and I'm planning to hit it again when I come back to do the 6 mile Mount Mitchell Trail next time.
I extended my hike (back in March) to Mt. Craig and back after coming up to the top of Mt. Mitchell on the Old Mitchell Trail, getting in the summits of the two highest peaks east of the Mississippi River on the same hike. I definitely want to hike this trail again so I can go out much further. Lots of fun!
My 15 year old son and I hiked the trail 10/1/16 starting from Mt. Mitchell parking lot at the Deep Gap Trailhead. Our plan included hiking out to Celo Knob and back, seeking out the engraved benchmarks at the highest point of each peak along the way (we're doing the SB6K Challenge). I believe I'm in very good shape at 48 years old and my son has been conditioning with his high school football team for 8 weeks. We didn't anticipate the nearly 14 mile round trip to be quite as difficult as it was...but this was the most strenuous/grueling physical activity I've undertaken to date. We would highly recommend this trail though. It was an accomplishment we will not soon forget. There were some beautiful views!
For those of you looking to find the benchmark medallions on top of each peak, good luck! I think GPS coordinates would be the way to go, if they exist and you have a portable GPS unit. We scoured the top of Celo Knob and couldn't find the benchmark. It was difficult to find just where the top of Gibbs Mountain was to begin searching for the benchmark there. We struck out at Balsam Cone as well.