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Best Trails in Mount Mitchell State Park

149 reviews

#5 of 619 State Parks in North Carolina

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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.

on Black Mountain Campground
20 days ago

hiking

Nice little campground tucked away 4 miles off the blue ridge parkway (with no signage or signal it was quite the adventure). A nice small creek runs through the grounds and the trailheads for Mt. Mitchell are literally inside of the campground. Black Mountain campground served as a great base camp for my wife and I.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
21 days ago

hiking

Proud to say my wife, my 10 year old son and I completed the up and back in about 8 hours which included about an hour at the summit. One of my toughest likes ever. The length and steepness combined with tough footing made for kind of a miserable day. The constant rocks and tree roots showed me an uncomfortable hike. I have $300 Salewa hiking boots and both my feet were bruises on the bottom.
The peak provided beautiful views but that's really the only place that did. If you want to accomplish the highest peak in the east, then by all means do this hike. If you are looking for rewarding views, then drive to he summit and choose another hike. Glad I did it, but probably won't do it again.

on Old Mitchell Trail
25 days ago

hiking

The Old Mitchell trail has a lot of inclines and declines and is moderately difficult. We left out early in the AM and the overnight rain made the footing slippery at times but still manageable. We did make a mistake of returning on the Camp Alice and Commissary Trails. Stay on the Old Mitchell trail. The walk in the woods is better than the walk on a gravel road.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

hiking

The views are awesome. I'll start with that. The hike itself isn't the most scenic. There are few outcroppings that you'll get a chance to sneak a picture in here or there. You'll traverse through a few different conditions/terrain. I went at 8am from the bottom (campground) to the summit via Old mitchell trail. It took 3 hours and 42 minutes to climb up and about 3 hours to get down. I tweaked my ankle coming down which slowed me slightly. This hike is strenuous. Some hikes are labeled strenuous or difficult but aren't too bad- this is not the case. I had gone after a rain storm the night before so it was slick and muddy. The footing is tricky regardless of the weather. You will be hiking over roots and rocks 75% of the time. You'll catch a break for a couple half miles at a time but expect uneven and rugged terrain mostly. For this reason I recommend hiking boots for sure. On other hikes I wear tennis shoes often- I'm glad I didn't attempt this one. I didn't use walking poles but again, If you have them I would recommend using them. It is steep and you'll be going up at a decent clip. I'm in decent shape. I hike weekly and do cardio almost daily. So I'm fairly active . I'd suggest you be in ok shape to attempt this. The elevation, rough terrain and altitude will affect anyone and if you're not used to a decent amount of activity this might be tough. The weather is cooler up there. I took a jacket but within 1 mile took it off because the exertion was enough to keep me warm. Once at the top you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of the surrounding areas. Rest up because now comes the descent. It's downhill and easier in that sense but again the footing is tedious and you'll have to slow your pace to ensure you don't get tripped up. There are those few straight away areas where you can really move though. It's closer to a 12 mile hike than 10.9 as is stated here. By the end you'll be happy to see the camp. It's a wonderful hike and one that will make you feel proud so Go do it!

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

Overall a pretty good trail. Very few views until you reach the summit, and even then you're not guaranteed a clear day. I was in the clouds and saw nothing at the summit on 7.18.2016.
Took my dog and I 4 hours from Black Mountain to the summit and 3 back down.
**Anyone with knee problems, Beware of the descent!!! It is killer on the knees

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

hiking

Fun hike - took us 2.5 hours up, and just about 2 hours down. Hung out at the summit and ate lunch next to all the folks who drove up. Gave us a sense of accomplishment. It's never super steep, and looks like there's some killer campsites along the way. Take Higgins bald at least one way to change it up.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

hiking

Tough climb up. About 3 1/2 hrs up. Pretty easy down; about 2 1/2 hrs.

on Black Mountain Crest Trai...
1 month ago

hiking

I read this was the hardest hike on the East Coast. Hiked this trail on Friday and it did not disappoint! Strenuous hike with breathtaking views. I was able to finish it in one day but it was a very long day. If I get the chance to hike it again I'd love to spend the night.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

hiking

It was challenging, but the scenery isn't very good until you summit.

on Old Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

hiking

This trail is not for the faint of heart. Although there are some fairly easy sections most of it is strenuous. At least it is fairly short, as trails go. The trek to the top is harder than the trek down.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

It was good. Not Colorado

on Old Mitchell Trail
1 month ago

Great, short trail! Excellent if you want to hike but don't have a lot of time. By the time the pain sets in, you're almost to the summit.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

hiking

Great hike. I would rate it slightly easier than Mt. Le Conte in the same mountain range. Went in the beginning of June. A lot of bugs and flies buzzing around but no bites. There's a store at the top.

on Old Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

hiking

A strenuous and beautiful hike. Quite rocky and rooted pretty much the whole way up. The last stretch is quite steep. Wonderful pay off with gorgeous views. The summit is heavily trafficked by people that drive up, but the trail is not as busy.

on Mount Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

hiking

Great day hike. Amazing views from the top. The hike up was a steady climb, coming down was a little painful. We took the Higgins Bald trail on the way up. Nothing spectacular but glad we did it. The views at the top far outweigh any feelings of resentment for those who drove up there...

on Mount Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

hiking

i hiked from the campground up and down with 20 a pound backpack for training. It was a great hike and the views from the top are phenomenal.

on Old Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

Very beautiful hike! many things to explore beside the trail. very beautiful views!!!

on Camp Alice to Mt Mitchell...
2 months ago

Very beautiful hike! many things to explore beside the trail, and many beautiful views!

on Mount Mitchell Trail
2 months ago

I'm in decent shape this was my first hike up and back down. it was a challenge with a 15 pound backpack but worth it. not much views other than the summit but still amazing.

on Black Mountain Crest Trai...
2 months ago

backpacking

Challenging hike worthy enough to talk about over beers. Starting from Mt Mitchell State Park, you'll need to take the Deep Gap trail. Roughly a 3 hour hike to campsites (Deep Gap) if you're carrying anything more than a daypack. The first campsite has flat ground for tents and theres a nice rock formation just behind the first site that is a great place to hang a hammock and protect you from the wind. It's been stated before, but I want to reinforce that will need to bring extra water if you plan on going overnight.