Mount Mitchell Trail to South Toe River Road Loop

hard 5 reviews
#183 of 217 trails in

Mount Mitchell Trail to South Toe River Road Loop is a 16.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Burnsville, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 16.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,914 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

forest

river

views

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

Note: As of May 2019, the last few miles of this trail is CLOSED. Please check with the park page for updates. Starting from Black Mountain Camp parking area this loops follows counter clockwise up to the summit of Mount Mitchell. From there you head south on the Old Mitchell Trail to Buncombe Horse Range Trail via the Commissary trail. Follow Buncombe to the South Toe River Road and follow north taking either the River loop to the Black Mountain camp or stay on the road. This trail has many water sources, many different flora and fauna and not a lot of traffic. There are places to camp at 2.5 mile mark on the Buncombe Trail and plenty of flat spots to camp around the 5000 ft. mark on the Buncombe Horse Range. The last part of the trail is basically a forestry road, very smooth and wide. The South Toe parallels the last leg of the trip making the road walk section bearable. This loops is a great one nighter for someone trying to spend a little bit of time in the Pisgah.

Beautiful, but challenging!!!! Took about 7 hours total to complete, plus breaks at the top. The concession stand at the top was a welcome surprise.

backpacking
9 months ago

Great trail, you get to see lots of nice natural communities as you go up in elevation. I did a relaxed 3 day sleeping at the Higgens bald site night one and on the western most Chestnut Knob the second night. No water near the Chestnut Knob site but otherwise nice. The last few miles of the trail are on a gravel road (if you go counter clockwise on the loop). But it was closed as of 05/10/19 so it wasn't too bad. The parking area was also closed as of the above date, So you parked 0.5 miles from the parking area on this map. I went mid week and only saw a few people, most up near the state park/summit. Overall a very nice few days.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago