Mount Mitchell is a hike that dogs with sure footing and long, heavy coats will love. The state park is named for its prominent summit—Mount Mitchell—which is also the highest peak in the eastern United States, at 6684 feet elevation. The entire park, including numerous hiking trails, a campground, picnic area, restaurant, and museum, sits above 6000 feet, keeping it cool throughout summer and usually closed in winter due to severe weather, strong winds, and snowy, icy roads. Its alpine environment more closely resembles the climate of Canada than the surrounding Southern Appalachians.
This loop is a great hike for dogs as it combines the Old Mitchell, Camp Alice, and Commissary Ridge Trails. Start at the Old Mitchell trailhead in front of the park office. Immediately enter a spruce–fir forest and follow a yellow circle blaze to start climbing a trail softly padded with rich soil and fallen evergreen needles.
© 2007 Karen Chavez/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.