Explore the most popular forest trails near Burnsville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful views, a hike that will get your heart pumping.

hiking
9 hours ago

Great add on trek if you're hitting Green Knob Firetower or Setrock Creek Falls. There is parking for about 5-7 cars at the trailhead. The trail is a gravel road, with only minor elevation gain, so very easy for just about anyone. The falls are beautiful and the rocks at the base make great places for photos.

Great hike. Relentless climbing over roots and rocks. The summit is freezing cold with winds, fog, drizzle. Reminded me of Clingmans Dome Make sure you bring a jacket to enjoy the summit without freezing to death. The most incredible thing: The hot apple cider available for purchase next to the gift shop, it was like a cup of unicorn tears mixed with liquid gold.

Excellent trail. Took 3 hours and 10 minutes to summit. About 3 even coming down. Some things you should know: there’s no internet access from about 30 min before getting to Black Mountain Campground and no signal. No signal all the way up the mountain. I did find very weak and spotty signal in the museum at the summit. Good enough for a few text messages.
The trail is very, very well marked. Or at least the blue diamond trail is.
Climbed on 10/21. It was at most 50 degrees at the base. Had to be below freezing at the summit. Much colder than expected so be prepared. There was crazy wind at all exposed points so bring a wind proof jacket.
All else: great hike. About as nice as a 7 hour hike could go. (Spent some time warming up at the top). Highly recommend this trail.

Just did this hike Oct 17-18. Took a shuttle from Mountain Harbour B and B to the top of Carvers Gap and hiked back to our car. From the beginning this hike is excellent!! There was a lot of wind so be ready! Great views on several balds to start! We hiked past Overmountain Shelter and over little hump and camped just past little hump in the woods where there were several sites and fire pits! Water sources close by as well. It did get into the upper 20s at night so we were a little chilly! Got up early and headed up Hump Mountain and the 360 degree views were amazing!!! The worst part of the hike was the 5 or so miles after hump back to 19e. Fairly gradual but it was pretty tiring! Would highly recommend this hike!

hiking
5 days ago

I began this trail as a loop hike. I parked first at the Park Office and was about to start on to Old Mitchell trail when I read a sign that instructed hikers of this trail to continue up the road and park at the restaurant . After relocating my car I started out on Old Mitchell. I continued to Camp Alice (Mountain to Sea?) to Commissary and from Commissary around to pick up Old Mitchell again near the Park Office to take me back to the restaurant. It made for a really great loop. Commissary was a nice rest for my legs before giving the final push back up to my car.

I really enjoyed this trail. I found it so be pretty challenging for me...but very do-able. I will say that I am a 55 year old woman in decent shape (I don't do much cardio these days, but I teach Yoga 5 days a week. I have hip issues and sometimes my knee acts up.)

The most challenging part of this trail was finding the proper the right foot placement with each step. The many large roots and rocks caused a few logistical issues. The trail was pretty wet when I went (thanks Hurricane Michael) I also went alone and never felt unsafe.

I had great footwear (Salomon) and a hiking pole/stick that acted up a lot, but when it (the pole) didn't, I was super grateful to have it with me. So I recommend bring one along. I saw a few groups of 20-somethings that flew by me with relative ease...some in regular Nike tennies. But that seemed rather careless to me as much of the trail had wet slippery rocks. One place on the trail had a rope to aid navigation (I had to sit down and slide down on that one.)

I saw only a few folks my age.

The trail was pretty clearly marked and I had no trouble finding the turn off for Camp Alice.

Definitely a great time and perhaps I will take it up to the summit next time.

Tough hike, but gorgeous views make it worth it. The AT isn't marked that great at the spilt with it and grassy knoll. For a first timer it's easy to miss.

trail running
12 days ago

One of my favorite trails by far. Orange blazed. High Peaks maintains it very well— good signs and trail isn’t overgrown. There are cables and ropes on some of the more slippery rocky sections— helpful when it snows.

There are a few ways to get to the trail— from the far end of the trail at the Bowlen’s Creek parking area (you have to Ford the little creek, the bridge is sketchy). Here you will go up an old fire road for about 4 miles until you reach the ridge line. You can also park at the other end in Mount Mitchell State Park. There are also ways of accessing from side trails— if you don’t want to do the whole thing— for example, use the Woody Ridge Trail (park on White Oak) or Colbert Ridge Trail (park on Colbert Creek Road).

The trail has a lot of rocks and summits many 6000’ peaks— Mt Craig, Tom, Balsam Cone, Potato Hill, Winter Star, Mount Gibbs, Horse Rock, and Celo Knob (via a .20 mile overgrown spur trail.) the crest has amazing 360 views for a lot of it, also spruce- fir forests and stone staircases.

There is very little water on the trail, so bring some with. There is a spring on the Colbert Ridge side trail and a creek toward the Bowlen’s Creek end.

trail running
12 days ago

This trail is well blazed (yellow), very easy to follow, and not overgrown. There are a few amazing overlooks where one can view the Black Mountains. After the last overlook, one enters a spruce- fir forest— one of the only in the SE, it was a remnant of the last ice age.

It’s a good workout, especially on the up. The last mile is prone to getting icy on the winter, and is pretty rocky.

Wow. Best views around. Be warned, it is longer than 13 miles, and having a heavy pack takes a toll.

I definitely think it is longer than marked, although it is not as difficult as some hikes I’ve done. All in all a magnificent quest, ending with a very cold summit which adds to the wonder. My heeler, 12 year old, 8 year old, and two year old in my pack did it with only minor difficulty on Monday. My only complaint is that we didn’t get the views once at the top due to the weather, but can’t control that. It was more like 7 Miles according to my Garmin.

Definitely NOT for novices!!! Beautiful views but difficult especially down hill which last six miles are.

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike! Absolutely gorgeous waterfall. A little difficult with wet leaves but overall a great hike!

Simply beautiful and a very easy hike!

hiking
18 days ago

The highest peak in the East has been on my list all year. I'm 58 and started hiking alone from the Black Mountain Campground and caught up with two under 30 hikers who I hiked with for the rest of the day. We all enjoyed the hike with stimulating conversation and clear blue skies. Arrived at the summit in 3 hours 25 minutes. Hung out at the top for an hour with some bikers as we ate our lunch. The view on the observation deck was spectacular. Descended the mountain in 3 hours 15 minutes. Switchbacks made the hiking relatively easy. A local warned me the day before to watch out for bears and rattle snakes. Didn't encounter either. Not as difficult as Marcy or Whiteface. Although there are lots of roots, there's no large boulders to climb over, no rock hopping, rock climbing or scrambling. Thoroughly enjoyed the hike. Would do it again next time I'm in the area.

Did this up and back trail in reverse starting from the BRP . Nice trail especially pretty at the top under the pines. Nice workout on the way back up. May have some views once the leaves fall. A creek with small waterfall is at the bottom.

Hiked with three young children from Mt Mitchell to Mt Craig and back. There are challenging parts, but our clan took it in stride. Beautiful walk and outstanding views.

Drove up at 7:00AM to see the summit without all the peoples and so glad we did. Gorgeous views at sunrise. We drove back down to the campground and began our march to the summit. The trail was fairly busy for a Saturday but not too crowded. It was a long, steep walk up the mountain with several flat areas to catch your breath that drops off into a busy parking lot for the viewing tower. I was not able to make the descent as we ran out of time with an inexperienced hiker taking much longer to get up the hill. So this trail is definitely not for the out of shape or casual hiker.

I did this trail in September of 2015. Difficult but rewarding, bring water and a change of socks is a must due to always muddy conditions on the trail. Even in early September the temperature can be in the low 40’s -mid upper 60’s Make sure you also have some warm clothing because when the sun goes down it drops 15-20 degrees at 6,000 ft.

Great hike. Weather can be varied from 70-80 to the Teens during the fall. So be prepared!

backpacking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike! Little hump and Big hump were tough but not impossible. Springs were easily marked at Overmountain Shelter, between little hump and big hump, and at Doll Flats (11ish mi).

Just hiked this section this weekend and absolutely loved it! Instead of staying the night at Overmountain shelter I hiked the extra ~2 miles on day 1 to stay on top of Little Hump and it was well worth it! There are a few grassy areas that are perfect for pitching a tent and you wake up with the most breathtaking views. Also, as a female solo traveler I felt like this trail was very safe and easy to navigate since you don't have to jump from trail to trail. This part of the AT is very well maintained and blazed and I never felt worried about getting lost or in an unsafe situation. The downhill slopes after Doll Flats are tough though and I was very glad I brought my trekking pole for some extra support! Overall amazing section with some incredible views!

We did this hike over Easter in a day. It was tough and we got super lucky with the weather. The night before was a blizzard and others did not get so lucky. The trail has a LOT of tree roots and very steep, pretty much the entire way. Super rewarding trip but the summit is crowded with people who can drive to the top so it does take away from the experience of hiking. Bring fuel and a lunch, you will need it for this long hike! It took us 8 hours but we had to stop a bit for the dogs. We saw a lot of people hurting on the way up so make sure you’re ready, get an early start, and have the proper gear if you attempt this strenuous hike.

It was my first hike but I was with experienced guys and it now has me hooked on hiking. It was difficult but well worth it.

Made the hike from Black Mountain Campground to the summit and back 30 times in the last five years. My favorite time for this hike in in the fall. This was on my bucket list. There are two decent water sources. Expect lots of roots and rocks on much of the trail. Some of the trail uses an old creek bed. Be prepared for aburpt weather changes. The trail is becoming better maintained because of those hard young dedicated workers.

hiking
1 month ago

An easy calming walk up 3,700 feet of elevation climb...jokes aside it is a fun, strenuous walk. The majority is under tree cover, with an occasional stream or brook. But the end is worth it l, with an open summit area.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a challenging but rewarding hike! The Commissary Trail itself is indeed easy, but the loop depicted in the map takes you on several other trails, including the Camp Alice Trail which I would rate as hard. In the end though, a really great hike with lots of diverse scenery. I had been to the Mount Mitchell summit before by driving up, so it was a fun accomplishment to really work for it.

Beautiful trail thru thick forest. A fairly easy walk with not a lot of elevation change

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