Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Best hike I've ever done in 40 plus years of being alive.
Time this hike around rhododendron and azalea season in mid June and you'll say the same thing. From the start at Carver's Gap, the AT wastes little time in the WOW factor as the trail ascends the incredible Round Bald which is a haven for Catawba Rhodo's and azaleas. After a brief dip at Engine Gap, the AT ascends the smaller ,but equally beautiful Jane Bald. By the time you reach Grassy Ridge Bald your senses will be in overdrive.

After a section through wooded areas, the AT comes near the Overmountain Shelter, which is a must to check out, then a steep ascent Yellow Mountain, and then the grand finale-the awesome ascent up Little Hump and Big Hump mountains. Both are vast balds that have awesome, grand views from the top. The AT, after the Humps, descends the Roans down to Doll Flats through a knee shredder of steep rock steps and rooty surfaces.

It's just an epic hike that we plan on doing every June, and probably October. Wonderful views of Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain and countless other peaks and ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wow! That was a challenging hike for me to do alone! The beattles at the top are annoying though.

Great hike but challenging both going up and back down.

Well the stories are true. Hard trail to climb due to roots and rocks. It starts out hard and steep. You have to watch every step too. Beautiful trail and I loved the climb. No real view until the top but power lines areas. I have done a lots of hiking over the years this is a fun but challenging hike. There is not to many flat spots on this trail almost always going up from Black Mountain Campgrounds. At 5.6 miles is doable for the average person.

Rated as most difficult and lived up to ranking.

12 days ago

Green everywhere! One of my favorite trails any time of year, except winter. Can be icy and muddy in the Spring so wear shoes with good traction. Short trail to/from parking lot at Mt. Mitchell to/from the summit trail and outlook.

This hike is NOT moderate. As active college aged girls, we were led to believe this would be cake. However, we soon learned we’d be put to the test mentally, physically and emotionally. Hangry and dehydrated, the rocks and roots were overwhelming. The only thing worse than the constant uphill battle and switchbacks was the sound of a bird being killed just feet from us. Once at the summit, powder fresh people badgered is to take their photos. We considered hitching a ride back down with a group of motorcyclists but found a “shuttle” service run by a lovely man named Don. Definitely do this hike, but prepare yourself.

12 days ago

Easy hike. Especially great for young children.

It took us about 4 hrs round trip for three moderately fit guys. Very rocky and steep, but we had the trail to ourselves. We’ll be feeling it tomorrow.

Hiked this section with my son two days ago. Challenging weather and conditions at times but well worth the unparalleled views from the grassy balds when the clouds disappeared. Be prepared as the weather can change in an instant and there is no cover on the balds if you are caught there. Shuttled from Mountain Harbor and would highly recommend this as part of your logistics if hiking point to point. Overall awesome and I will be back again sometime hoping for more consistent sun and perhaps when the rhododendrons are in bloom!

Amazing section of the AT. Spent the night at Overmountain shelter with 20 thru hikers. awesome experience, rained the entire time and never saw a view.

20 days ago

I did this with a buddy of mine on a hot day in April last year. By the time we reached the summit it was 40 degrees and raining. As others mentioned the temperature can vary lot. Definitely recommend the hike though. The views at the top are incredible.

25 days ago

Great trail, I’d definitely do this one again. Low foot traffic. You’ll definitely feel accomplished after tackling this mountain. A couple pieces of advice are to start early because it gets dark earlier than you’d think. Also the temperature variance between the bottom and top of the mountain is pretty big. It would be a good idea to bring layers on this hike.

29 days ago

This is strenuous and challenging trail. I took this trail and yes it was rocky and wet at many places. One just has to be cautious and take your time to get around some area's of the trail. I did enjoy the hike and the challenges it presented. I also took part of Camp Alice trail to the Commissary Trail. Camp Allice trail is also wet and strenuous. Hikers need to be careful on where to step due to the slippery surfaces. The Commissary Trail is a gravel road that gave me a breather from Camp Alice Trail.

30 days ago

My bf and I stayed at Albert's lodge in Burnsville NC, which has a great view of Mt Mitchell. The night before I was definitely intimidated by the mountain, but I conquered it. I was mostly afraid we would run into a bear, so I carried bear spray. I did not see any bear, only a lot of chipmunks and squirrels. We took the Mt Mitchell trail from the black mountain campgrounds. We got there at 7am to be sure we had a parking spot. Almost immediately we were joined by a group of 4 other hikers. The trail consisted of a lot of roots, rocks, man made steps and a ton of switch backs.. I was thankful for the switchbacks because it gave us a chance to catch our breath. We got to the top about 11:40am. So it took us 4 hrs and 40 mins and I usually walk 21 min mile on flat ground.. We climbed 2,759 ft in elevation on this trail. I would definitely recommend bringing plenty of water and a flashlight. I hear on the way down the woods can get pretty dark in the afternoon hours. We had pre-arranged to get a ride down from the Yancey County Shuttle van. They require 48 hours notice I believe. They were there on time, despite there being a bike race finish line at the top impeding traffic. The driver was a very nice man and we are glad we took the ride down, because there were afternoon thunderstorms. They had great bathrooms up at the top but I was disappointed that the gift shop was not open on this Monday (prob cuz of bike race) and is not open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

1 month ago

Gorgeous views. Easy access to Black Mountain Crest trail if you wanna add a bit on.

Awesome trip, shuttled up to carvers gap and hiked back to the hostel. plan 15-17 actual miles if you are going to explore, check out the red barn, etc. makes a great overnight.

1 month ago

Easy short hike to a beautiful waterfall

I absolutely loved this trail. The creeks are awesome and the campgrounds along the trail are very nice and allow for a lot of exploring. As someone who is out of shape, it took me 3 hours up and 2 hours down. Definitely is tough on the hamstrings, but amazing hike overall.

trail running
1 month ago

Steep but plenty of fresh water sources to filter. Nice views

Definitely an amazing trail. Well worth going to. It had beautiful sunsets and amazing view because there were very few trees. It was an amazing place to bring a drone or backpack. Just has ridges that go on for miles and allow for good areas to have camp and fire pits in the rocks while besides it in a tent on soft grasses. Awesome place.

Pavement will be under your feet the entire way. The distance, according to a sign at the end of the parking lot, is 275 yards to the top. The view was great April 28, 2018 because of no fog or cloud cover unlike when I hiked the Mt. Mitchell trail a few years ago. I did this one because my son is too young to do the hard trail and I wanted him to stand on the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. The only reason I gave it a four star rating is because it's more of a walk and not a hike.

I did this just to say I hiked Mount Mitchell. Its a decently physical trip both up and down but not the hardest by any means. Overall the trip was just blah for me. Won’t ever do it again unless someone asks me too.

My husband, son, our german shepherd and I hiked this Easter day (as a challenge by our 18 yr old!). I'm not going to lie - it was hard! But definitely doable - and oh so rewarding! We did it in a little under 7 hours (4 up and 3 down). I used my trekking poles on the way down to help out my 51 year old knees. The hardest, but most rewarding hike I've done!

1 month ago

Our favorite short hike in WNC - takes about 20 minutes. Lots of shade through this coniferous forest. Start at either the lower parking lot or near the Mount Mitchell summit just on the left as you pass the small education building.

great falls.. easy trek

I’ve hiked this section quite a few times and it never gets old. One of the most beautiful hikes in Eastern US in my opinion. Be prepared for any kind of weather.

2 months ago

Great trail, plus a great workout. Starting out from Black Mountain campground you begin the uphill battle almost immediately and it doesn't stop until you're at the summit. The views up top are worth every bit of it though. Well earned.

Located at MP349.9 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, there is a winding park road that will lead you up to a large parking area within a very short walk to the top. The weather at the summit is significantly colder than at lower elevations so bring a jacket. The cement trail to the summit (ADA accessible) is pretty steep but leads to the observation area that affords a 360* panorama and has detailed signs at the north, east, south, and west faces showing the names of all of the distant peaks. The grave of Elisha Mitchell, who surveyed the mountain, is displayed right in front of the observation platform and is composed of the same ornamental stonework. This is an excellent place to visit when traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and is great for children.

Hiked old Mitchell and Camp Alice. I thought it was pretty strenuous but I am also not in very good shape plus I have knee problems. Not just a straight up hill climb, lots of ups and downs and rocks to climb over. There was a fair amount of ice on the trail although that is not what made it treacherous at times. I slipped and fell in the mud at least three times, may have been my bad shoes but I feel like the mud was deceptively slippery.I found coming back up the Camp Alice trail to be the most strenuous. Camp Alice ends with a lovely mountain stream with a small water fall.
The view at the summit was amazing, and it was a super clear day! I would definitely do it again!

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