One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on. Almost all downhill from Mount Mitchell to parking lot. Everything covered in green Lichen. Absolutely beautiful

Beautiful 360 views from the observation deck. Short steep climb on paved path. Take the Balsam Nature Trail back to parking lot, easy hike and so beautiful

This is a great trail! I highly recommend taking this trail down to the parking lot!

hiking
bridge out
10 days ago

Observation deck still closed but you can still get to the top. The sign with the elevation is accessible and the views are beautiful! Lots of cool places on top for a family picture. Well worth the drive down Blue Ridge.

Great hike to the top of mount Mitchell for those who want to get a little more adventurous but don’t want to hike long distances or do anything too strenuous. The climb was easy and was beautiful and peaceful. The views at the top are worth it too.

Great views, their bathrooms are open for public use, observation deck closed currently, but still worth the drive and views

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

This trail starts on the BRP and immediately heads up. The first mile is a little tough as it is a decent climb. The trail is well manicured. Once you reach the top it is a ridge line walk from there. There are some good views of Mt Mitchell along the way looking NE at the entire range. I stopped at Patton but this goes to the Mitchell road. Overall it’s a beautiful hike, but rather uneventful.

The trail was tougher than most still manageable. The views are totally worth it.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Commissary Trail is an old road for the most part. You don’t really notice it’s a fairly long downhill stretch until you’re coming back out and it’s all UPHILL! It was a VERY FOGGY day. Beautiful fog settled between the mountains and it was misty as we walked in. Lovely outcroppings even with the limited views. Once the trail connected to Buncombe Horse Trail, there were countless mini water features and ice was still clinging in several spots. Unfortunately, with all the rain and the water flowing down from the peaks, the trail became muddy and finally impassable about a mile from Cherry Hill. We had to turn around and go back. It was still a great hike and we’ll definitely go back and do it again in the spring/summer when there’s not so much rain.

Parked right on the road near the white gate with the sign that says “Do not block gate” The trail was a great workout, it’s a pretty decent incline. If you keep left on the road you’ll see a trail marker eventually and that’s the “easier” way up. Unfortunately we kept right and hit the massive incline straight up on the roots. We didn’t get to see much up top because of the fog but it was definitely some good exercise.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
3 months ago

I ran/hiked the trail counterclockwise on 2/16. Lots of ice on the way up to Mount Mitchell and the Buncombe Horse trail was very muddy. I had no problem finding water and completed the trail just over 6 1/2 hours. Great views on the peaks along the way! I’d definitely do this trail again.

hiking
3 months ago

Our route up Staire Branch, Bear Pen, Laurel Gap to Perkins Trail was studded with waterfalls. A good ascent or two and descents and ridge paralleling - and a few long range views too!

hiking
5 months ago

walked this trail on January 1st 2020, temperature peaked at 46. not sure how good the view would be with leaves on the trees.. but with the trees bare we had a pretty good view of the surroundings at the top. we are semi-active and this was a pretty good workout for us. peaked the big butt summit and back to our car in roughly 3 hours.

Really nice trail. Interesting terrain. Heavily wooded. A nice surprise for a “nature trail.” Short hike, but very enjoyable. Kids loved it!

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
blowdown
flooded
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

The last stretch of this trail was a delight! We loved the crazy creek bed gain, the rope assists, the playfulness of the boulders leading up to Big Tom, and the stellar views from the deep gap ridge section. The horse trail section, though, was complete bullshit and we have a feeling it remains so regardless of season. Lots of flooding, mud, and not a lot of payoff. It’s probably sweet if you’re legitimately horsed, but otherwise we’d have preferred to do an out and back involving deep gap over the loop that involved the horse trail. I used poles during this hike and found them helpful. We passed several groups of hikers who were in the 50-70 age demo who were making their ways without them and were not only feeling defeated, but who were genuinely worried they wouldn’t be able to complete the trail. Don’t try it without something to counterbalance you if you have trouble with boulders.

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