Black Mountain Crest Trail

#2 of 9 trails in Mount Mitchell State Park
Black Mountain Crest Trail is a 1.9 mile out and back trail located near Burnsville, NC that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

1.9 miles 705 feet Out & Back
hiking forest river rocky scramble views wild flowers wildlife
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The Black Mountain Crest Trail is a point to point trail starting at Bowlens Creek Road and Ending at the Mt Mitchell Summit parking area or vice versa. Some find it easiest to start from the top. The trail follows the Mt Mitchell Ridge for the first 7 miles, traversing the largest collection of 6,000 ft peaks in the Eastern US. From Celo Knob, the trail descends about 3500 feet to Bowlens Creek. The trail start is at "Water Shed Road" which is marked private and is located off Bowlens Creek Road.
A car shuttle or drop off is recommended.

Robert Sprouse

1 Completed1 Reviews

Started at Bowlens Creek on Friday, ended at Mt. Mitchell on Sunday. Great trail, just bring plenty of water. Very rough but worthy very step.

Stevie T

11 Completed2 Reviews

Ralph Miller

2 Completed2 Reviews

Started at Bowles Creek Trailhead. Hard to find, the terminus is at the end of Water Shed which is marked with a "PVT" on the street sign. Two small parking spots off road but don't pass it as there is no turnaround between there and the end of the road, another 300-400 yards.

First 4 miles are sufficiently challenging but easy to keep moving forward as the peaks promise views and a nice pace across the numerous other mountains on the trail. As with a lot of lower Appalachians, thick canopies heading up and trees all the way up including the peaks which diminish the overall views.

Definitely a trail worth doing. Tackled it on a Friday, and only did 8 of the ~11 miles before daylight concerns had me turn around but didn't see one other hiker.

Verlin Howell

14 Completed3 Reviews

I did the trail from mt mitchell to colberts ridge and down to near Carolina hemlocks campground.
very rocky trail down from deep gap.saw no one 2 miles out.

Kass M

36 Completed9 Reviews

Did the hike from Bowlens Creek up to Mount Mitchell. Very strenuous and not for beginners, obviously. I went during a weekday and didn't see another soul until I was about 3 miles from Mount Mitchell. I had nothing but thick fog for the first half of the hike unfortunately so I didn't get any nice at views but I got my share on the second half. It took me about 7 hours total to complete the hike one way. Mileage was closer to 12 than 10.5.

Chris Roberts

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great views, although very strenuous.

Bear Asher

7 Completed7 Reviews

Some friends and I hiked the trail last week and we agreed it was extremely strenuous. We started from Bolwens Creek and hiked to Mt. Mitchell and back to Bowlens Creek. The trail was much more steep and technical than expected. The elevation gain from Bowlens Creek parking to Celo Knob was especially tough! Overall, the hike is brutal, but the views are breathtaking.

Dianna Daggs

1 Completed1 Reviews

Strenuous and slow,technical but beautiful views.

Tom Mudrak

54 Completed14 Reviews

Started at Bowlens Creek and went up to Mitchell and back. Stayed the night on the north side of Winter Star Mt. Great trail. Incredibly strenuous trail, a couple sections of scrambling, and constant elevation change. Going from creek to summit & back is very rewarding but probably not the best option for everyone. It is just as difficult as advertised but one of the best trails I've done,

David Eck

16 Completed16 Reviews

I did the portion of the trail (mostly) within Mt. Mitchell State Park, beginning at the Mt. Mitchel parking area, lower lot, to Cattail Peak and back. You will summit four peaks over 6500 feet on this six mile out-and-back. Be prepared for continual ups-and-downs with challenging climbs. A few short and especially steep sections have ropes bolted to rock faces. These are absolutely necessary. You are treated to great views of the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains, if the weather is clear. No civilization in sight. I want to come back and do a three-nighter on this trail soon, pushing into the national forest. Did the six miles in 3:15, not including breaks.