Mt. Mitchell—the highest peak east of the Mississippi—is a crowning part of the Blue Ridge Parkway experience. The only motorized access to the mountain is from the Parkway, at Milepost 355.3, and the summit is only a 5.0-mile detour. Don’t miss it—even on a dismal day. The 1,700-acre Mt. Mitchell State Park—North Carolina’s first state park— clings to the highest peak of the Black Mountains, a serrated string of summits that juts away from the Parkway and Blue Ridge to dominate the western skyline of North Carolina. Cut by landslides that appear as snow-and-ice-covered chutes in winter, the mighty Blacks are frequently seen from the Parkway as a dark ridgecrest rising above the clouds. The range includes six of the ten highest peaks in eastern North America. This eTrail includes three hike options, Mt. Mitchell Trail to Mt. Mitchell, Balsam Nature Trail, and Black Mountain Crest Trail.
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