Mount Mitchell Park: Discover the Tallest Peak

Hiking trail at Mount Mitchell State Park

Mount Mitchell Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders that is waiting to be explored. Have you ever wondered where you can find the tallest peak in North Carolina? Look no further than Mount Mitchell Park! This majestic park offers visitors an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy a range of outdoor activities. 

At Mount Mitchell Park, you will find the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Rising to an elevation of 6,684 feet, the summit of Mount Mitchell offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. But that’s not all this park has to offer. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and even enjoy a picnic with family and friends. 

Are you ready to explore the beauty of Mount Mitchell Park? Whether you are an experienced hiker or just looking for a scenic drive, this park has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Join us as we take a closer look at what makes Mount Mitchell Park such a special place, as we hear from experts on the subject and share insights on all there is to see and do.

Table of Contents

History of Mount Mitchell Park

Mount Mitchell Park has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the early 1900s, a time when Dr. Elisha Mitchell, an esteemed professor at the University of North Carolina, made a groundbreaking discovery. After conducting a series of meticulous measurements, Dr. Mitchell determined that the peak was, in fact, the highest point in the Eastern United States. Regrettably, his quest to prove this theory resulted in his tragic demise when he fell to his death. Despite this setback, the state eventually procured the land and designated it as a state park in 1915. Today, the park is under the auspices of the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, and it remains a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.

Hiking Trails

Mount Mitchell Park proffers an assortment of hiking trails with diversified levels of intricacy. The most sought-after trail, Mount Mitchell Trail, is an arduous 5.5-mile trek that culminates in the summit of the mountain. The trail is steep and rocky, ergo hikers must be equipped with durable hiking shoes and ample water. For those seeking a less demanding expedition, the Old Mitchell Trail is a moderate 4-mile loop hike that presents awe-inspiring panoramas of the circumjacent mountains.


Mount Mitchell Park provides numerous options for those seeking to spend the night in the great outdoors. The park’s family campground is capable of accommodating both tents and recreational vehicles, while a group camping area with a maximum capacity of 50 individuals is also available. Reservations can be secured through online or by telephone, and the campground is accessible throughout the year.

Picnic Areas

If you’re looking for a lovely spot for a romantic picnic or a fun family gathering, Mount Mitchell Park has got you covered! There are plenty of picnic areas to choose from, all scattered around the park and boasting beautiful views. And the best part? Each area comes equipped with spacious tables and grills, and some even have water and electricity available. So, pack up your picnic basket and head on over for a delightful day out in nature!

Wildlife Viewing

Mount Mitchell Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and many different types of birds. Visitors can observe these animals in their natural habitats from a number of different wildlife viewing areas throughout the park. However, it’s important to remember to keep a safe distance from the animals and not to feed them. So, come and enjoy the beauty of nature, but be sure to respect the park’s wildlife and help keep them safe!


Mount Mitchell Park is a great destination for those interested in stargazing. The park’s high elevation and lack of light pollution provide ideal conditions for observing celestial objects in the night sky. Visitors can take advantage of several astronomy events hosted throughout the year, including star parties and meteor showers, to learn about astronomy and stargaze with others.

In addition, visitors are welcome to bring their own equipment and explore the night sky on their own from various locations throughout the park. This provides a unique opportunity to witness the beauty of the universe and appreciate the vastness of space. Whether you’re an amateur astronomer or just looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Mount Mitchell Park offers a one-of-a-kind stargazing experience.

Other Activities

Mount Mitchell Park provides visitors with a variety of activities in addition to hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy casting a line in designated areas of the park’s streams and lakes, while birdwatchers can keep an eye out for a variety of species that call the park home. 

Visitors can also take part in interpretive programs that provide insight into the natural and cultural history of the park, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the area’s unique features and the people who have called it home over the years. 

The park’s visitor center features exhibits that showcase the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the park, providing a wealth of information about the area’s flora, fauna, geology, and human history. A gift shop is also available, where visitors can purchase souvenirs, snacks, and other items to commemorate their visit to this beautiful park.


Located in western North Carolina, Mount Mitchell Park is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Whether you love hiking, camping, or stargazing, this destination has something special to offer.

The park features hiking trails for all skill levels, allowing visitors to explore the diverse terrain of the area up close. Camping facilities are also available, providing a chance to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of the park and experience authentic outdoor living.

For stargazers, Mount Mitchell Park‘s high elevation and minimal light pollution make it an ideal location to observe the beauty of the night sky. The park hosts astronomy events throughout the year, such as star parties and meteor showers, offering visitors a chance to learn and marvel at the vastness of the universe.

In summary, Mount Mitchell Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone seeking an escape from the busyness of everyday life. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in the limitless beauty of nature and create unforgettable memories.


Most frequent questions and answers

No, there are no hotels or cabins available for rent in the park, but there are several lodging options available in nearby towns.

The hike to the summit of Mount Mitchell can take anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on your fitness level and hiking experience.

Yes, the park offers guided hikes and interpretive programs throughout the year. Check the park’s website for more information and schedules.

The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring and fall when the weather is mild and the foliage is at its peak.

No, swimming is not allowed in the park’s lakes or streams due to safety concerns and environmental protection.

Yes, the maximum stay at the park’s campground is 14 days.

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