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You can drive nearly all the way to the summit, making it easy to explore this natural wonder. And, it's free for all to enjoy. At the summit, there's an observation deck. On a clear day, you can enjoy spectacular views and see as far as 85 miles! Also at the summit, you'll find a museum, shop and restrooms.
The State Park also features a restaurant open spring to fall. For the adventurers, Mount Mitchell offers access to favorite hiking trails that wind through fragrant balsam forests. Along the way, you may see wildlife 91 species of birds have been spotted in the Park and many rare plants.
Summit Trail Hike from Parking Area: From the summit parking area, take the easy-to-follow paved, handicap accessible path just a quarter mile about a minute walk to the observation deck. While the trail is short, it is steep. But the amazing degree views at the top are well worth the effort.
Balsam Nature Trail: Discover the balsam aroma of the Fraser firs on this short, 0. A tiny stream located along the trail is the highest spring in eastern America. This trail is considered moderate. Old Mitchell Trail: Instead of driving to the summit, park at the State Park office and hike your way to the top!
This strenuous trail travels 2. Hikers should allow about three hours. On the ridge line of these giants of the Black Mountain range, you might find yourself above the clouds! It is 2. The hike is considered moderate to strenuous. The hours are seasonal. Please check the Mount Mitchell State Park web site for hours.
Most Park services, including the museum, shop and restaurant are open May through October. Even when parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed in the winter due to snow and ice, Mount Mitchell State Park is often still accessible. Plan accordingly by dressing in layers.
The summit area is often covered in clouds, keep an eye on weather forecasts and try to visit when the sky is clear in Asheville. The entrance to Mount Mitchell State Park is well ed. From the Parkway, it is a 4. Should the Parkway between Asheville and Mount Mitchell be closed due to snow or ice, the alternate route is to take I east from Asheville.
Take Exit 72 in Old Fort to U. Drive approximately 10 miles to NC Highway Mount Mitchell is part of the Black Mountains, a range formed more than a billion years ago. Scientists say the once lofty and rugged peaks were worn down by erosion to the rounded shapes you'll see today. InDr. Elisha Mitchell, a science professor, headed to the Black Mountains to measure their elevations.
Using barometric pressure readings and mathematical formulas, he estimate the height of Mount Mitchell. Even without modern technology, he was just 12 feet off. Inthe highest peak in the Black Mountains was named after Dr. Mitchell to commemorate his findings. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. InMount Mitchell was established as North Carolina's first state park.
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