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General Information

Mount Mitchell State Park
Copyright: - North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
Mount Mitchell State Park
Description - Mount Mitchell State Park, encompassing 1,700 acres, was North Carolina's first state park established in 1915. The park is named after a Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a scientist and professor at the University of North Carolina who attempted to affirm that Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi. An interpretive historical marker on the trail to Mount Mitchell observation tower honors him. He is actually buried at the summit which is along the crest of the Black Mountains. Unfortunately, the visitor will observe much defoliation and destruction of the mountain evergreens. To date, three factors have caused the demise; the balsam woolly aphid, acid rain and the deterioration of the ozone. An eerie grave-like atmosphere is the result.

Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March and October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.

Recreation - Mount Mitchell does offer a variety of recreation opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. There is plenty of hiking, backpacking (vehicles must be registered before leaving overnight), a picnic area with 40 tables - some with stone fire grills, two picnic shelters with two tables each as well as a fireplace (free unless reserved) and nine single unit campsites on a first-come basis (hot water and showers not available).

There are no water activities at this park.

Guided nature walks, led by park rangers, are available during the summer months. Special requests for group presentations are available through the park office. Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)--Alpine Forests-Grades 4, 5 & 6. Introduces students to the forest types of the Blue Ridge Mountains, focusing on potential causes for forest decline in the mountains, especially at Mt. Mitchell. Major concepts covered include: forest communities, natural and unnatural environmental stresses and stewardship.

A refreshment stand with light snacks is open at the summit parking lot from 10 am to 6 pm from June 1st through Labor Day and on weekends from Labor Day through October 31st. A complete restaurant is open from May 1st through October 31st. The restaurant is open weekdays from 8 am until one hour before the park closes. Mt. Mitchell is the only state park with a restaurant.

Mount Mitchell State Park is about 2 miles north of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Pisgah National Forest saddles Mount Mitchell State Park. It offers miles of hiking trails, camping opportunities and picnicking.

Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average below 36 degrees Fahrenheit (below 2 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average below 76 degrees Fahrenheit (below 24 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 44 to 48 inches (112 to 122 centimeters). Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and carry proper gear as the high altitude makes the climate of Mount Mitchell quite cold even in summer. Caution should be taken when traveling in this area. Temperatures can experience wide extremes with unpredictable thunderstorms. Layered clothing and rain gear is advised.

Location - Mount Mitchell State Park is located approximately 33 miles northeast of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker #355. Take NC 128 north to the park entrance.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Brian and Lori (Floyd, va)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: One of the most beautiful sights on the parkway. The tunnels and bridges before and after the top of the mt. add to the wonder. The entire time I thought about how hard this road was to built, never dreamed a road could be built at such a place. Would tell anyone who asked about the wonder and beauty that this mountain lends.

More Information

Contact Information:
Mount Mitchell State Park, Rt. 5, Box 700 , Burnsville, NC, 28714, Phone: 828-675-4611, Fax: 828-675-9655
, momi@yancey.main.nc.us

Additional Information:
Asheville Area - Spectacular mountain scenery, beautiful rushing waters, countless museums, historical sites, state and national lands, cultural events and the famous Biltmore Estate are concentrated in this area.
Mountain Region - Experience North Carolina's Mountain Region where two of America's most visited national parks reside, where thousands of acres of national and state forestland sliced by rushing waters dominate the landscape, and where visits can relive the luxurious past of America's industrial birth.
North Carolina State Parks - North Carolina's State Parks offer wonderful beach camping to mountain wilderness camping. There are hiking trails in all sorts of forest types and countless fishing opportunities. The entire state, from the mountain to the piedmont area to the coast is rich in history and well highlighted at the parks.

Blue Ridge Parkway - Association Website
Mount Mitchell State Park - Official agency Website


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