Five-Star Trails: Asheville
In 1835 professor, explorer, and scientist Elisha Mitchell measured the mountain—that in the future would be named in his memory— and proclaimed it to be the tallest summit between the Gulf of Mexico and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This discovery brought researchers, commerce, and tourists to the Black Mountain Range. Today, we know that Mount Mitchell, at 6,684 feet, is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. The Mount Mitchell High Loop follows an old railroad bed to the top of the mountain, where Elisha Mitchell is buried, and then returns to the trailhead through a dense Fraser fir forest.