Explore the best trails near Burnsville with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.






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trail locations for Burnsville, North Carolina

I want to do it again, but start earlier so I can do the entire loop. Only a 3+ mile trail, but you definitely need full daylight. The drive in includes abut 6 miles of gravel road and 2 single lane bridges. I missed any signage indicating where the trail started, and eventually was told by a hunter to go back to the campground (1/2 football field sized area on the right as your driving on the gravel). Trail is unmarked but can be found at the back of this field. Two choices: Quite a steep entry, or to the left are switchbacks. I'd recommend the switchbacks.
BEAUTIFUL, and well worth the effort.

A very short trail to a pretty waterfall. Do not miss this if you are hiking the River Loop...or an easy walk from the parking area by the Black Mountain Campground.

3 days ago

This is a very enjoyable, well maintained and pretty 3.5 mile loop. The first half includes a climb and then a descent back to the river. There are good views of the river from above and Mt. Mitchell from directly below. After crossing the bridge, the trail then returns mostly at river level. Don't miss the short spur to Setrock Falls just before making it back. You also pass the trailhead for the strenuous Mt. Mitchell trail near the Black Mountain Campground. I will hopefully be back for that one day.

The trail heads up a gravel road through the trees with the creek below on the left and unseen most of the way. It is an easy but not very exciting hike to the falls. The waterfall is very beautiful and makes it worthwhile though. I'm sure visiting in June would greatly enhance the experience as there are Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel everywhere.

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.

4 days ago

Nice trail. Very secluded.

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!

4 days ago

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.

4 days ago

Short and relatively steep with mostly pretty forest views. I completed this trail as part of a wonderful loop with the Commissary and Old Mitchell Trails.

Challenging and rewarding. beautiful forrest pine smells along the way, changing landscapes, with the most amazing viewpoint at the top. Stunning!

trail running
16 days ago

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.

Great hike. Very tough at the top but worth it. There are some great trails on the way down for some amazing lookouts as well. Mt Mitchell is a great spot!

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.

Why drive to the summit when you can take a relatively short but strenuous trail from the park entrance/headquarters? Much more satisfying!

23 days ago

I first hiked down then backed up on this Old Michell Traill. I enjoyed this strenuous and beautiful hike. This trail was relatively short which also is a plus.

I followed the Summit Trail to the observation deck that has the 360 degrees of the fabulous views from the summit. I could see miles away in this beautiful fall day. I really enjoyed it.

23 days ago

I hiked this trail right after I completed the Summit Trail. It is well marked it and relatively easy nature walk. I highly recommended