Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville

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Mountain
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • my stepson had just finished Outward bound and took us up here. Off Blue Ridge parkway. Interesting history and beautiful views. No admission, plenty of parking. Short manageable walk from upper lot t...  more »
  • The highest point east of the Mississippi River. Beautiful Forest and wonderful Drive coming in. You can drive very close to the summit and it is paved all the way up so you can get to the lookout eve...  more »
  • You can drive to within a short walk to the summit. There's a memorial for Rev. Elisha Mitchell, the professor died there trying to prove it was the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. The...  more »