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.

1 day ago

We hiked this on a cloudy day, so the top out at the summit was disappointing. However the hike is nice enough. Too many 4 and 5 stars for this, though, I think. Also, it is not easy, I would say moderate to strenuous - the last mile is straight up Mitchell, over lots of boulders and roots, it's basically a stairclimber through a beautiful cedar and spruce forest. The Commissary is 1.2, then camp Alice and Mitchell portions are about 1.1 to 1.4 to the summit, and is very strenuous. It's an OK hike. Better than Mt Pisgah trail for sure. There are lots of pretty wildflowers. If it is cloudy, it's a 3, if it's clear, it's a 4.5 for the views.

2 days ago

Short loop through high elevation pine forest. Lots of interpretive signs tell about the unusual plants, algae, and fungi that grow up here. Some rocks and roots in the treadway, but far easier than most of the other trails on Mt. Mitchell. Provides a nice, less crowded, alternate route back to the parking lot after you have visited the summit of Mt. Mitchell.

Paved trail to the summit of Mt. Mitchell, highest point in the Appalachian Mountains. Not really a hike but more of a walk to the summit. Trail is somewhat steep, but rest benches are provided at several places. Remember that the air is thin at this elevation, so you will get winded faster than usual. This is a nice option for people who cannot do one of the park's harder trails.

I hiked this in 2 days. Water is available at Deep gap but you have to hunt for it Down an old access road. it makes no sense that the description of this trail on this site says it features a river......Bolens creek is not a river. The biggest feature is the black mountain crest...... the 6, 6000+ft peaks you have to climb.

Done this out and back a few times just for the challenge. It’s a tough and long distance with lots of elevation gain. Not many views along the way up but a nice payoff at the top. Your legs will be toast by the end on the hike down.

Cons: Many other beautiful hikes in this area of NC with much less tourism. (Most people drive up for the view).

Great views along this trail.

I just did this over Sunday, Monday and hiked out on Tuesday. I hit some of the side trails and camped at a few of the small camps off to the sides of the trail. I'm only giving it four stars because I'm relatively certain that the trail is slightly longer than advertised, but it was an awesome trail. Side note there is no good camping on the Higgins Bald trail as it is all one big Laurel slick.

beautiful, short walk, great for kids

12 days ago

what an amazing hike. extremely hard and no great views till the top but it's amazing watching how the biome changes as you get higher on the mountain. will definitely be back for this trail

Great balds with fantastic views. The most beautiful place I have been so far.

14 days ago

Enjoyed the trail but the map is a little misleading. Reading the route with a CCW loop, only the first 1.8 miles is Commissary. After that the trail difficulty is medium/hard as you hike the Mount Mitchell Trail until it joins the Balsam Nature Trail, right near the summit. You cross the Summit Trail and then are on the Old Mitchell Trail until it meets the Camp Alice Trail. Camp Alice is a .5 mile steep descent along a rocky and rooted trail. It ends at the 1 mile to go point for Commissary as you make your way back to the Commissary trailhead. Commissary itself is a wide gravel trail that is easy to hike. No fee for the trail. Restrooms at the trailhead visitor center. And, only 12 parking spots. There's a restaurant about .2 miles up the road and there's a snack bar at the summit.

Absolutely beautiful! Will repeat again soon.

Busy on a summer Saturday.

This was a hard trail, but definitely not as hard as I expected based on the reviews we read. The views were limited, but to me the solitude and serenity of the forest made up for that. The trail was longer than expected, 12 miles by our All Trails recording. As experienced hikers used to high altitude hiking out West, it was really weird to have a parking lot and lots of people at the summit after emerging from 2.5 hours in the quiet forest. But, for people in average shape, this is totally doable. We would suggest good hiking boots and trekking poles.

16 days ago

Loved the walk thru semi dense woods. Found unexpectedly and didn’t have much time. It was easy, short but still not for everyone. A lot of zig and zags, steps and rocks. Beautiful!

My first real hike. Beast, grueling, unbelievable views, beautiful trail, and would do it all over again!

20 days ago

Very challenging hike but worth the experience! Wear some good shoes and be careful for loose rocks! Just started hiking about a month back on the weekends and it took me and a friend about 5 hours round trip for this hike! Minus the time we spent at the top! Granted we’re both in pretty good shape so keep that in mind when planning times! Also carry long sleeves for the top even if your sweating your butt off at the bottom cause it gets chilly!

22 days ago

Great trail! We stayed at Black Mountain Campground and started there. We were able to stay with other friends at the campground so we left a car at the top and only hiked one way. Starting at the bottom it is a climb the entire way. Including starting from the campground it was just under 7 miles and a little over 3700 ft in elevation gain. I will try this trail again going both ways. A good stopping point is the stream with a small waterfall.

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.

Great hike but challenging both going up and back down.

1 month ago

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.

Challenging yet beautiful wooded trail!

1 month 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.

1 month ago

Easy hike. Especially great for young children.

1 month ago

This trail is no joke. We started at bowlens creek carrying our 40lb backpacks. Thought it would be good preparation for our Mt Whitney hike. We are great shape as we have just ran in a half marathon two weeks ago. But it kicked our but. I would not recommend carrying anything other than a day pack on this hike. Make sure you bring plenty of water as we brought 5 liters and could of used more for sure and couldn’t find any water source. Not as many great views as you would expect since most of the hike is under canopy. By far the hardest hike I ever done, specially with the pack. Tool 9 hours to complete.

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.

1 month 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.

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