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.
Awesome hike! Will definitely go again as soon as we get a chance. Good hiking boots/shoes and at least 2 liters of water are highly recommended. It took my 13 yr old son and myself (33) a little over 4 hours to reach the top. We didn't hike down because met my wife and 2 younger kids at the top. We are all fairly avid hikers going at least twice a month normally 6+ miles each hike. This was definitely the most strenuous hike we have done yet, and we can't wait to do it again.
I really enjoyed this hike, but it does not give too many views till the very top. The overlooks you get are diluted with electrical wires. In the woods is beautiful, it made me feel like I was in the jungle a couple times. Took my group about 3.5 hours to get to the top. We only hiked up.
The incline was steady and almost continuous, but never overwhelming.
Woo! What a hike Mt. Mitchell is. Quite strenuous. Took 4 hours to get to the summit, 3 hours to get down. Went early September, ~65-70 degrees, partly cloudy. Went with my boyfriend, we are both 26 and in decent shape (4-5 mile runs a couple times a week) What to expect: the hike up is almost entirely incline (moderate/hard) small-medium rocks, roots, not much of a view going up. Definitely wear good hiking boots (to say my feet were killing me at the end is fairly large understatement) and a hydropack (2+ L). There is a snack/bev stand at the top, open on Sundays. The views at the top were incredible! Had a great time. Well worth it, but not too sure if I will do it again anytime soon.f
We hiked up Old Mitchell Trail on August 27. The hike from the bottom, at the Park HQ, started off pretty easy, but grew in difficulty as we ascended toward the peak. The trail has beautiful mix of trees and rocky terrain which at times resembled a scene from a fairy tale. To say the hike is strenuous is accurate. By the time I reached the top I was exhausted, but I can't wait to hike it again.
I started off from Bowlens creek; real nice public transport driver named "Junior" dropped me off night before. Woke up at 6:00 AM and hit it. I didn't see another person for 7-hours. It was a beautiful route. The beginning is a subtle path that leads up to 6,000 ft, which is where the trail gets going. The vistas are rich and vividly colored. If the day is nice and you are good on time, I would take a while to enjoy the first few miles. As you progress toward Mt Mitchell you'll lose the open vistas for more sparse vistas, as well you'll pass a dozen different micro-environments. I experienced intense fog, rain, and mud, back to sunshine, and fog. The farther you get into the route the greater you can feel how ancient the terrain is. It was a fabulous hike. Wish you an amazing experience!
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.
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.
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.
Sherri C. on Mount Mitchell Trail
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!
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
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.
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.