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.
paul m. on Colbert Ridge Trail
My lime green shirt is greener than yours :)
I live .05 mile from the END of this trail (US Forest Property between Yancey / Buncombe county) and have been hiking the trail in reverse; I start at the forest gate and end at Point Misery. From this starting point (Yancey / Buncombe county line), the trail is KILLER! All uphill, strenuous and definitely a workout for the legs. Although it is a bit more strenuous from this starting point, I find myself hiking this trail at least 1/month. Its beautiful. If you are into holistic foraging, this trail is definitely for you! I'll be taking pictures on today's hike to update but this trail is equally beautiful in the Spring / Summer / Fall and most definitely, WINTER! The elevation gain is tremendous that you start out with beautiful weather and hike to tree's covered in snow crystals, truly beautiful.
As an Adirondack native and someone who hiked Colorado, NY, TN, GA I was under the assumption this would be a moderate hike. I started before the park opened in August and parked near a ranger station and hiked for several hours. It was difficult but amazing, well worth it. After some time to rehydrate and munch down some carbs I proceeded to hike Big Tom which is also an incredible Hike, awesome views and amazing vistas. I'm adding pics of both.
This was a wonderful hike geared towards summiting the eastern US's highest peak the hard way instead of driving up. We completed it with two 13 year old girls. One of whom had never hiked before. The total up and down is 4200 ft with a net elevation gain of 3700 ft from the black mountain campground parking area. The total length is 12 miles from the parking lot to the summit and back. As others have said, it is a tough hike because of the rocks and roots. For this time of year, it is often wet and covered with leaves which can make it slow on the way down. It took us eleven hours round trip including time at the top. There was no ice but a very wet a muddy trail.
Great hike. Unfortunate heavy fog when I hiked yesterday 1/14. It's a challenge and about the most I like to do in a day. Bring plenty of food and water. Made it up in 4 hours and back down in 3.5. Waterproof boots a good idea. Trekking poles optional.