Everything You Need to Know About Mt. Mitchell
As you drive into Asheville you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the surrounding mountains. There is something magical about Asheville’s mountain backdrop. Few people can deny the calming lure of these mountains or of the cool clean mountain air on a hot summer day. The North Carolina Mountains are famous throughout the country for their beauty and particularly their fall foliage. However, one mountain in particular stands above the rest, both literally and figuratively. This week we take a look at majestic Mt. Mitchell and all she has to offer you during your Asheville mountain vacation.
Meet Mt. Mitchell
Many visitors, and even residents are unfamiliar with this towering beauty, her history or what she offers those hardy enough to explore her. For example, did you know that Mt. Mitchell is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River? The mountain’s elevation is 6,684 feet. Many people mistakenly believe the mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Great Smoky Mountains, however, in reality Mt. Mitchell is part of the Black Mountain Range.
The mountain is named after Dr. Elisha Mitchell who was a scientist from the University of North Carolina. Dr. Mitchell was the first scientist to take measurements of the mountain. He calculated that the mountain was likely highest in North Carolina, and as it turned out he was right. The mountain was preserved because of local concerns over the negative effect the timber industry was having on the mountain. A cause was born, and soon politicians of the citizens of North Carolina came to the aid of the mountain.
In March of 1915 Mt. Mitchell officially became a state park. In fact, it became the first State Park and by doing so it created the basis of the North Carolina State Park System. Today thousands of visitors visit Mt. Mitchell each year. Hikers, campers, and tourists from all over the country have come to love the serene beauty of Mt. Mitchell. We’re sure you will also during your Asheville vacation.
Getting to Mt. Mitchell from Asheville
Mt. Mitchell is an easy fifty-minute drive from Asheville. You'll find this leisurely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to be one of the most scenic in the area. Ultimately you’ll reach the visitor’s center. You’ll ascend leisurely curving roads which ultimately end atop the mountain. Plan at least an hour to get there, but you’ll really want to plan more time to stop at scenic overlooks and other area attractions along the way. Hey, you’re on vacation what’s the rush. Take it slow and take in the unique scenery. You literally can’t see anything comparable east of the Mississippi River.
Mt. Mitchell Contact Information
Mt. Mitchell is a popular destination. If you have a specific question about events, camping, hiking or other programs, be sure to call ahead to get the latest information. You can also check out everything going on by visiting the park’s website.
Mount Mitchell State Park
2388 State Highway 128
Burnsville, NC 28714
Five fun facts about Mt. Mitchell
There is so much to learn about and explore on Mt. Mitchell. You could spend a lifetime hiking the trails. The mountains ecology is varied and beautiful. Each season offers a unique glimpse into life on Mt. Mitchell. Do you want to know more about Mt. Mitchell? Here are five fun facts to start you on your road to discovering North Carolina’s first state park.
1- Many people say Mt. Mitchell smells like Christmas trees because the dominant trees on the Mt. Mitchell are Fraser Firs.
2- The Black Mountains were formed over a billion years ago.
3- Dr. Elisha Mitchell died in 1857 after a tragic fall at the nearby Mitchell Falls.
4- Dr. Elisha Mitchell estimated the height of Black Mountain to be 6,672 feet high. He was only off by 12 feet! Not bad considering it was 1835!
5-The Black Mountain range has 6 of the highest peaks north of the Mississippi River.
5 Ways to enjoy Mt. Mitchell
No two people enjoy Mt. Mitchell the same way. The magic of this place affects all of us differently. You may love hiking for the exercise or maybe you enjoy bird watching as you wander the trails. Regardless of how you like to spend your time, Mt. Mitchell has a way for you to fall in love with her. Here are five ways you might enjoy your visit to the mountain.
1- Hiking- Mt. Mitchell is a hiker’s paradise. The park has miles of scenic trails varying in length and level of difficulty. For those truly looking for an adventure you can hike from Black Mountain campground to the summit which takes you to the peak of Mt. Mitchell. If you want a leisurely stroll, the park has several trails that are perfect for just that.
2- Cycling- For avid cyclists, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt. Mitchell present not only an amazing physical challenge but also one of the most beautiful rides in the country. In fact, each year in May there is an event called The Assault on Mt. Mitchell where cyclists ride to the summit in a timed event. The year 2019 was the 44th anniversary of the event.
3- Motorcycle- Motorcyclists love to ride the twists and turns of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Discover one of the most spectacular rides on the east coast as you twist and turn your way to the top of Mt. Mitchell. Bragging rights await those who navigate this challenging and exhilarating ride.
4- Enjoy one of the park’s programs- Throughout the year there are several events for visitors to enjoy on Mt. Mitchell. There are several guided hikes, history seminars, and guest speakers. There is truly something for every interest at Mt. Mitchell.
5- Visit the restaurant- About a half mile from the park office you’ll find the Mt. Mitchell View restaurant. For those looking for a nice way to see the park without having to hike or have limited time, the restaurant is the perfect solution.
No matter what your interests are, something is going on at Mt. Mitchell. If you need more information about the park’s events Click here!
Want to visit or explore Mt. Mitchell during your next Asheville vacation? If so we can help. Our friendly staff is here to help you find the perfect vacation home for your Mt. Mitchell and Asheville adventures. Hurry, there is still time to book a late summer vacation or plan that fall mountain getaway you’ve always wanted to take. Give us a call today at 828-274-6978 or click the button below to begin planning your vacation today!