November 3, 2009
Near: Spruce Pine, NC - Blue Ridge Parkway
Route: Balsam Nature Trail, Black Mountain Crest Trail
Type: Out and Back
Distance: 6.8 miles
Conditions: partly sunny and cold
Impression: This was a fun day hike...challenging, but very do-able, i did this hike with my girlfriend and it worked out great...leafless trees brought on many views of the blue ridge mountains...Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6684 ft...the range scales 6 mountains that are over 6000 feet, truly a rare treat for this part of the world...easily accessible by car or foot, this is a hiker's dream and highly recommended...
Directions to Trailhead:
The best way to get to Mt. Mitchell from Asheville is via the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 355.4). From the Parkway's Folk Center, just outside of Asheville, it's a 27 mile beautiful drive (mostly up!). Allow one hour to drive, since traffic can be slow and you'll want to stop at overlooks along the way. This section of the Parkway is closed much of the winter. The alternate route is to take I-40 East from Asheville to Exit 86. Follow U.S. 221 North about 10 miles to U.S. 70 West. Go about two miles to NC Highway 80 and go north to the Parkway. Drive south on the Parkway to the entrance of Mt. Mitchell State Park.
More from Mount Mitchell: