Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville

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Mountain State Park
Mount Mitchell State Park is a 1,996acre North Carolina state park in Yancey County, North Carolina in the United States. Established in 1915 by the state legislature, it became the first state park of North Carolina. By doing so, it also established the North Carolina State Parks System within the same bill.Located at the end of NC 128 off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Burnsville, North Carolina, it includes the peak of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. From the parking lot, a steep paved path leads visitors to the summit and a raised observation platform with 360 degree views. The grave of Elisha Mitchell, the professor who first noted the mountain's height, is located at the base of the observation platform. The old observation tower was torn down in Early October 2006. The trail leading to the summit has been paved, and a new observation platform was constructed and opened to the public in January 2009.An exhibit hall is open seasonally at the summit with information about the mountain's natural, cultural and historical heritage. The park operates a restaurant and a small tent camping sites seasonally.In addition to Mount Mitchell itself, the park encompasses several other peaks which top out at over 6000' in elevation, including Mount Hallback, Mount Craig (just 52ft shy of Mount Mitchell in Elevation and the second highest peak east of the Mississippi River), Big Tom and Balsam Cone. Trails lead to all these summits save Mount Hallback, and their exploration takes visitors away from the crowds on Mount Mitchell but to places similarly spectacular. About 8mi of trails exist within the park in all.
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  • From their website: "Mount Mitchell’s dramatic summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet and was inspiration for one of the nation’s first state parks. From its easily accessib...  more »
  • OK, so it IS the highest point east of the Mississippi River, but not by far the most dramatic. The views would have been quite good if the clouds hadn't dropped just as we drove up, but there are muc...  more »
  • The park rangers are helpful and nice and it is a beautiful location. The hike to the overlook is steep but paved. Young kids managed with a little help.  more »