About and How to Visit:
Mt. Mitchell is the highest summit east of the Mississippi (6,684 feet elevation). Accessed via the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mt. Mitchell State Park is North Carolina’s first state park, established in 1915.
From its easily accessible observation deck, the spruce-fir forest of Mount Mitchell State Park leads the eye to unmatched views. A museum explains the mountain’s cultural and natural history, and its trail network allows visitors to explore up close, offering short hikes near the summit and challenging treks leading to adjacent wilderness areas. A nine-site tent campground is open in warm-weather months, and backpacking opportunities abound, including entry onto the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. A concession area and a full-service restaurant serve visitors from May to October.
SAHC’s involvement in conservation:
From the observation tower atop the summit of Mt. Mitchell, you can see SAHC-protected lands in every direction. We have secured and transferred tracts that were included in the state park. Adjoining the park and nearby, SAHC has protected almost 10,000 acres under conservation easement (privately owned land that is permanently protected from subdivision and development).
Also known as the Black Mountain Crest Trail, Deep Gap Trail is a relatively strenuous hike that traverses the Black Mountains and crosses six of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. The trail begins at Mt. Mitchell and winds its way to Deep Gap. SAHC purchased a 2-acre tract in the saddle of Deep Gap, which was later transferred to the US Forest Service for public ownership. It is a popular camping spot for hikers trekking north from Mt. Mitchell State Park.