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Summit Tower Trail

Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina

Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi, rises more than a mile above the valleys surrounding the age ravaged Black Mountains of North Carolina—stand on its lofty peak and you will be amazed by the breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, complete with lush forested valleys and misty rolling ridges that seem to stretch into the distance as far as the eye can see.

Mount Mitchell State Park, located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway on SR 128, protects 1,946 extraordinary acres and includes the peak of Mount Mitchell—from the parking lot you can take a short hike to the summit, which includes an observation platform and the grave of Elisha Mitchell, the professor who first calculated the mountain's height.

Highpointers who hiked to the top of Mt Mitchell prior to the fall of 2006 would have had the opportunity to climb the steps within the stone observation tower at the summit, but early in October of that year the tower was torn down and replaced with a new observation platform—the new structure was constructed and opened to the public in January 2009.

From the new summit platform, you are afforded a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains and the Pisgah National Forest—should you be lucky enough to catch the summit in the midst of a clear day or during the gripping last light of day’s end, you will indeed walk away with an unforgettable experience.

Revisited June 2022:


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