Explore the most popular Wildlife 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy hike with surprisingly good payout. Phenomenal walk with kids. Watch for seasonal wild berries. You can follow some slipshod trails to the top of the falls. Be careful - it's all real slick.

I just discovered there is private parking available right beside the trail head on Bolens Creek. There’s a small road right next to the trailhead called Stanley’s Trail. A local owner cleared an old homestead and will let you park for $5 on the grassy lot. The trailhead parking is very limited and almost always full and the hike is getting more popular every year. I always hated leaving my car on that narrow paved road - you just can’t get your car all the way off the road. I was always afraid someone will drive by and knock my car into the ditch or I’d park much further away. Anyway, it makes it a lot less worry when tackling this great hike. Enjoy!

My family stumbled across the trail after viewing the lookout merely by accident. My dad has a bad knee, but this allowed him to see the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. It was a spectacular sight and unbelievable. I felt like we were atop all the world. My family had been hiking trails all day and on our way down the mountain we stopped at the restaurant/gift shop. They were closing, but when I mentioned we had not eaten today, a waitress brought us out pieces of meatloaf that were too small to serve. she did not charge us and we left them a tip. Wonderful people and amazing experiences.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 days ago

Started this hike around 6am and took us about 3 hours to summit at a good pace. It was a little muddy but it was very rocky and rooty. We did this hike on a Monday so when we reached the summit there weren’t too many tourists but it’s not the same satisfaction as one would get reaching the top that wasn’t obtainable by a road. It was a clear day and the views from the top were amazing. Other than that, it was an awesome hike. We ended up doing Mout Craig as well which added an additional hour. The way down felt like it took forever but after a previous 15 mile hike the day before and doing this hike, our bodies were exhausted.

on Roaring Fork Falls

hiking
2 days ago

Nice easy walk up a Forest Service Road to a beautiful falls. There are abundant fresh water snails in the pools below the falls so you should be careful if entering the pools. On the walk up the Forest Service road you will pass two abandoned concrete buildings that were used to store explosives. Parking at the trail head is limited and you have to be careful not to block the gate into a maintenance yard.

Fabulous trail and well traveled. About .6 miles and an easy hike. Beautiful site, birds and trees to photograph.

hiking
5 days ago

Strenuous. Stunning. Worth the effort.

amazing scenery and the trail is well kept! beware of poison ivy along the trail edge, but otherwise no issues

on Roaring Fork Falls

walking
6 days ago

very rewarding walk for young children

Unbelievable, I’ve hiked all around WNC and have never been on a trail this epic. Go. It’s amazing .

Short paved path to the summit with a nice visitor’s center at the start. It was foggy so no views but still a nice place to bag another high point. I wasn’t expecting a burial crypt at the summit holding the body of the man who the mountain is named after, Rev. Elisha Mitchell.

hiking
muddy
12 days ago

hiking
scramble
14 days ago

Steep but worth it. Used to be able to enter the overlook tower (previously a fire tower). Bring water. Bring lunch. Bring layers. Likely to be alone unless you see someone coming down from the Parkway side, and you wonder why you didn’t do this. Nice renovations going on at the start at the Black Mountain Campground.

hiking
15 days ago

Excellent! Challenging but not extreme. Always enjoy the changing climate and atmosphere as you go higher in elevation. I only kept back from five stars because even though I said to myself that it wouldn’t bother me, it actually was disappointing to reach the top and be met with the unnatural landscape of the observation tower, the stone pathway and the tourist in flip flops.

Really enjoyed this trail. As other commenters have noted, it’s longer then listed. From the trailhead parking near the campground to the summit and back is about 13 miles. For those in good physical shape, it’s not terribly hard (but not easy either; it’s earned it’s difficult rating). I took my 8 year old son with me and we moved at about 42-45 min a mile going up and about 37 - 39 min a mile on the way back. We only took two 5 minute breaks on the way up and back and about 20 min at the summit. Again, we had a great time!

Great but very challenging hike. We backpacked our gear to the summit, then to the Mount Mitchel Campground, which was full, but we made it to Commissary Campground, which is amazing! Great views and I cannot stress challenging with 35 lbs of gear lol

hiking
over grown
19 days ago

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
19 days ago

Nice day hike. We took it pretty easy and made the summit in under 4 hrs. Conditions were good and views were clear. Considering this climb takes you to the highest point in the eastern US the trail itself was surprisingly generous with plenty of spots that leveled out among some moderately steep switchbacks. Most of the views heading up to the summit are thanks to powerline cutouts that run up the mountain. They are stunning but dont expect to get great pics without the lines in your view. The summit is a tourist haven. Coming off the the trail onto a concrete walkway with people getting out of their cars in flip flops and carrying their mountain dew to the summit kinda takes away from the natural beauty and sense of accomplishment. I dont know that I would hike it again but it is nice to have on the "completed" list.

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

Only hiked to top of Celo Knob and stopped for lunch before coming back down. Pretty tough ascent throughout but the last 0.5 miles is the worst. Great views of the Black Mountain Range and west from a small clearing near the top. Saw a turkey and rabbit. Really great hike. Next time, with a little planning, we’ll stash a car at Bowlens Creek and have someone drop us off at Mount Mitchell to get the whole trail.

Best trail I've ever hiked for ruggedness and ridiculous views. Have backpacked overnight from Mitchell to Deep Gap and back, and done the full trail from Burnsville to Mitchell, also overnight ing at Deep Gap.

hiking
24 days ago

Tough trail straight up the mountain...earn that trek.

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

Avoid the pedestrians at the summit, they are onlookers, gawkers, and trend seekers. Do you want to hike 6 miles to an overly dense gaggle of tourists?

Wonderful yet hard trail. Parts of the trail are straight up the mountain side. Wonderful views near the end of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy.

today's weather made this hike perfect.

hiking
1 month ago

did the whole thing in about 5 hours, but I was hauling to beat sundown. bring a minimum of 2 liters of water and plenty of snacks. I was starving by the time I got to the top

My husband and I hiked this trail from the parking area currently designated which is roughly .5 miles from the campground. It was tough and awesome! It took us 4 hours and 40 minutes to get to the summit from our car and about 4 hours to hike down. I'd estimate we took a 10 minute break every hour. We are not experienced hikers but are active. The only thing I would have liked is more lookout spots along the way. There were virtually none. A fella (ultra trail runner) who knew this trail well stopped to talk to us and told us because of the changes in parking the round trip was closer to 14 miles which matched what my Garmin said. I'm glad we hiked this trail!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

More than 5.8 miles and very difficult. Trail is for experienced hikers

backpacking
1 month ago

I've hiked this trail twice, my first and last time! We hiked the BMCT as a final practice hike for our upcoming Philmont trek. Although I knew it would be difficult I wasn't prepared for the seemingly endless accent UP of the first 4 miles. However, after stopping for lunch and a quick nap at the top (Celo Knob). I had enough energy to trek on. The views at the top and along the crest were amazing. We camped at Deep Gap for the night and found the natural water springs our Troop had used on previously BMCT hikes had almost dried up. To find water we had to backtrack a bit down a side trail (Colbert Ridge Tr) to find a very small spring that had a trickling flow off the side of a rock face. We collected the water in backpacking pots, filtered it, and added tables. It took almost 2 hrs to collect enough water for our crew of 14. The next day's trek to Mt Mitchell was filled with difficult ups and downs accompanied by spectacular views. I have never been SO glad to finish a hike as I was for this one. To anyone attempting this hike be mindful of the scarcity of water and be very careful if hiking this trail in wet conditions. Our trek was somewhat dry but some of the rocks/boulders were still very slippery and slick. Although at the beginning of this trail review I stated that I would not hike the BMCT again I may give it another try with a lighter pack and a lighter me. Good luck to anyone attempting the BMCT and enjoy.

Great views all around.

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