Mount Mitchell State Park
If you want to add some height to your hiking, nothing east of the Mississippi is as high as Mt Mitchell state Park.
Our Vista Seeker’s Hiking Group recently (August 2015) hike the summit and had a ball!
Russ Meade,Olivia Gates
Here is some information and directions
“A variety of hiking trails wind throughout the park and onto surrounding Pisgah National Forest land. Starting at the park office, two trails lead further into the park: the easy Commissary trail which goes to Camp Alice, and the Old Mitchell Trail which goes to the summit. From Camp Alice, you can connect with the Camp Alice trail itself which goes toward the summit, and the Buncombe Horse Range Trail which follows an old railroad bed on National Forest property.
You can also access the Old Mitchell trail from parking areas at the park’s restaurant and the park’s campground, and from there, connect with all other trails in the park.
From the summit parking area, there is a paved, ADA accessible path to the summit. Also, the Balsam Nature Trail makes an easy loop in the spruce-fir forest below the summit and is a great addition to a summit hike. The Mount Mitchell trail ends on the summit path and descends 3000′ over a course of 5.5 miles to end at the Black Mountain Campground on the Toe River in the valley below. Along the way, it intersects the Buncombe Horse Range Trail mentioned above. Finally, the Black Mountain Crest (Deep Gap) trail leads from the picnic area out along the ridge top, crossing over the second highest peak in the Appalachian Mountains on its way: Mount Craig. This rough trail passes through Deep Gap, then descends the mountain to end in the valley far below.” From Hike NC http://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/mount-mitchell-state-park/
From Asheville, take I-240 East to US 74-A East to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Exit right; turn right at the end of the ramp and drive North on the Parkway about 30 miles to NC 128 (there is a large sign for the State Park). Follow NC 128 for about 3 miles to the Park entrance; the summit is another 1.2 miles ahead.