Explore To Do (local) - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
2 days ago

Love this trail probably one of my favorites

hiking
2 days ago

Best hiking trail on the parkway with the best views! It is very convenient and it is located right off of the Parkway! This trail is very unique compared to other hiking trails in the area! If you are planning a hiking trip, this is a must do!

hiking
3 days ago

An excellent hike with plenty of elevation change and challenge. One of the best hikes in the park. The lookout tower is unbelievable. Views in every direction for MILES! That was excellent.

not the best for a hot day, lots of people but still a solid good hike.

This was a nice hike! Overall, it wasn't as hard as we thought it would be, but it was definitely challenging. It had rained a lot the night before we hiked and the trail was extremely muddy and wet, with water running down the trail in a stream at some points. I think we could have done it a bit faster if not for that. The trail surface is definitely rocky and rooty, and I would highly highly advise hiking boots. We started at 6:45am, summited at 10:30am, left the top at 11am, and finished around 2pm. It was cloudy at the top with pretty much no views, oh well. More about the journey for this one. We were the first hikers of the day to summit and encountered about 30 people on the way back down, about half of which were backpacking and half of which were day hiking. Other notes: it's definitely longer than 10.4 miles if you start at the parking lot and end at the top of the observation tower. By our estimates/GPSes, over 11 miles. Also, there are a few switchbacks on the trail that you could miss if you weren't paying attention. We encountered a group of people who were lost on a false trail and we almost went down the wrong one once.

hiking
4 days ago

Great views from a number of rocky outcrops, including views of the Linn Cove Viaduct, and expansive Blue Ridge mountain vistas. Budget at least an hour round trip, more if it had just rained or trail is wet. It gets very muddy after rain and the rocks can get very slippery. Multiple parts with steps, no gravel, mostly dirt/rocks combination mixed with tree roots. Good footwear needed; Once I did it in my running shoes - not a great idea. Moderate to hard in places.
Avoid, if possible, during weekends, or after 10am, as it gets uber-crowded. Children over 6 should be able to do it, as well as older adults in reasonably good shape/health.
Overall: great short hiking opportunity;

Note to BRP maintenance crews: trail is overgrown with shrubbery in places, no gravel left either, it's literally begging for some maintenance TLC.

hiking
6 days ago

Challenging enough but very doable (my 8 and 5 year olds were fine). Views are amazing and worth the hike.

I love crowders mountain! It’s not too difficult, it’s just right! Rock top is my favorite trail!

hiking
8 days ago

Made an over night loop of this trail and a few others. The Mount Mitchell trail is fine, plenty of water sources, really gradual pace to the top and well traveled. The summit was crowed but pretty much what you would expect if you've seen mountains before. The rest of the trails are where this place shines. Every thousand feet the surrounding radically changed from mossy woods, to pine forests and dense brush. The Pisgah is always rewarding.

Challenging hike with lots of rocks and roots. Dense forest most of the way and good views at the top if you get a clear day (hit or miss). Was heavily trafficked at the top by people who drove up. For us, it was a do it just to check the box hike but not the most beautiful or rewarding we have done. 3.5 hours up and 2.5 down. Early morning start (7am) meant cool temps throughout but still very humid in July. Cool that it's the highest peak East of the Mississippi.

Moderately difficult trail mainly due to wash out along the trail. Views at the end were great. Hiked early on a Saturday morning and only saw 2 other groups. Very limited parking at the trail head (maybe 4-5 spots). Trail forks near the end, stay left. Enjoyed the hike but will explore other trails in the area next time

10 days ago

A great hike with amazing views. A walking stick is helpful at times.

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked this fun trail today with my parents in their 50s and my youngest sister who is 12. Not at all difficult for me but a little slippery on the way down. Beautiful views to the South and a very pretty waterfall at the trailhead. Strongly recommend!

11 days ago

One of our family favorites. Strenuous, but not impossible.

Be ready for plenty of roots and rock on this trail. There are a few outlooks but the power lines spoil some of the best views.There is a nice creek near the half way point and a few more near the four mile mark. The forestry young men and women are doing a wonderful job on trail maintenance. Having make this hike 30 times I can tell you it can be a challenge but well worth it.

Watch for bears

Well. We had Mount Mitchell on our bucket list for a while and decided to tackle it around New Years 2018. It was a challenge for sure as much of the trail was iced over and we made good use of the spikes on our trekking poles. Several times we had to cut a new path around the ice and we fell and slid couple of times in dramatic fashion, which was nice to add to our story when we shared the tale of our adventure with amazed friends and family. This hike started as a fun adventure because of the road down to the trail head, the beautiful stream, and nicely packed trail at the beginning. The fun soon faded though as the views never changed and those we did enjoy included power lines. Perhaps we are just spoiled hiking snobs! We read reviews that described this hike as technical but didn't appreciate the validity of that until we were on it and realized that this is a hike you do to DO, not to SEE. Your hiking skills will be tested as you navigate roots, ice (in winter), and sometimes vertical climbs. As you approach the summit, there are signs that teach you about the area and you go through some beautiful forested areas. Emerging from the trail onto the tourist sidewalk was humbling. As we struggled to eat our lunch with frozen hands and melt the water in our bottles, we forlornly watched warm travelers return to their cars, knowing what lay ahead of us on the descent. About three miles from the end, we began singing, "this is the trail that does not end...." Seeing the bridge over the stream at the end felt great, and as we climbed into our car and blasted the heater, we agreed it felt good to have a check mark next to Mount Mitchell, we felt awesome for having done it in freezing temps over ice, and that we did not feel the need to do it again. Hot soup, homemade bread, and a thick beer back at the cabin were much appreciated and we enjoy knowing that we did it.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful dense forest scenery is the majority of this hike, a few views along the power lines at different points of the ascent, still pretty in my opinion but no denying the best views aren’t until the summit. Challenging hike.

Really crowded hike and this was on a weekday. I did this and a bit more. I started at Hooker Falls, went up to see those falls and then turned up to Triple Falls and onto High Falls. From there I continued up over the covered bridge over High Falls and went up to Grassy Creek Falls - that's worth skipping as there was nothing to see. From Grassy Creek I turned back up on Buck Forest Road down to Thomas Cemetery to Sandy to Wintergreen Falls. Then back up to the Guion parking area and then back all the way on Buck Forest. A good long lollipop but this whole area is really easy to hike.

Incredible hike. One of the most serene but strenuous hikes I’ve done thus far. If you want something that’s challenging but doable in a FULL day this is it. Took me about 5.5 hours to do the whole thing out and back on the blue diamond trail. I’m young and an avid hiker but still not in the best shape so go for it if you think you can. 4 stars because I absolutely loved the hike up and some of the views on the way up (besides the power lines) but if you are going for the summit view, I recommend passing on this trek. Absolutely not worth going into this over crowded tourist spot where you walk into a parking lot. The decent was more tough in my opinion just because you were so focused on dodging roots and rocks. Overall, do it for the hike, not the view.

Pretty very populated

Nice trail. The waterfalls are gorgeous but the trail to the upper isn’t well marked. Never saw a blaze and went off the path for a little bit. Fortunately there are a ton of people who you will run into at some point to redirect.

Great trail that can be done with kids - moderate due to some steep rocks but very manageable

Upper falls is worth it despite wet trail and many offshoots.

My wife and I are training for a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike and there aren't too many places in the southeast to replicate the elevation change of that hike. For that reason we started at the top of the Mount Mitchell Trail and hiked it from the top down, rather than starting at the Black Mountain Campground as described in the trail summary. This is a genuinely strenuous hike and fairly technical in spots. Rocks and roots require you to keep your eyes on the trail most of the time, especially on the descent. While there are virtually no long range views, the beauty and serenity of the forest through which you are hiking are sufficient to make this an enjoyable experience. The hike back up the mountain is difficult, to say the least, at nearly 4,000 feet gained in about 5.5 miles. We decided to push the pace due to impending darkness and made it back up in the same three hours it took to descend. Next time we will definitely leave earlier and take our time on the ascent. This hike, starting and finishing at the highest spot east of the Mississippi, gave us a great indication of our fitness level for the Grand Canyon hike. We saw numerous younger folks hiking without trekking poles. I highly recommend them for those of us with 60+ year old knees.

Easy and mostly flat.

30 hikes from Black Mountain Campground and back so far. I would like to thank the forest service workers for their excellent maintain of this trail. The scenery would be much better from the lookout spots if it wasn't for the power lines. You will find at least two decent water sources unless you take the side trail to Higgins Bald where you will find a creek crossing the trail. Be aware that you will go through a area where there is poison oak on both sides of the trail. Wear decent hiking shoes or boots because much of the trail will be roots and rocks.

hiking
22 days ago

Hiked from the parking lot up to the overlooks, then down to the bridge and back. The bridge has some excellent rock scrambling opportunities. Took my 6+9 yr old boys; they tripped or slid a couple times on the trail, but we're very careful near the edges. Picked lots of blueberries around the overlooks, but they hide off the beaten path.
The trail from the overlooks to the second half of the trail is overgrown and easy to miss, but opens up after you squeeze through.

on Rough Ridge

hiking
23 days ago

Love this hike. Great for families. Our 7 and 5 year old did fine with some coaching on slippery rocks. The incline is almost 500ft and the views are worth the work.

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