Black Mountain Crest Trail

#2 of 9 trails in Mount Mitchell State Park

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

Black Mountain Crest Trail is a 10.5 mile point to point trail that is typically done north to south, starting at Bowlens Creek Road and ending at the Mt Mitchell Summit parking area. One of the more rugged hikes on the east coast!

Share your experience to help other people learn more about this trail:

Write ReviewUpload PhotosUpload Tracks

Robert Martin (40)

1 Completed1 Reviews

A soft walking trail. Love the green grassy places under foot. A Hobbit's world with green lush texture in all settings. Tunnels to Eden. My only trail in USA compared to New Zealand's wonder-lust wilderness.
Never once wanted to leave. But for old knees.
Maybe. Just maybe, I'll return for a trice.
Great companions. Great food. Gifted solitude.

Mary Young (320)

23 Completed10 Reviews

Intense trail after passing Deep Gap. Hiked during the summer when the blackberry bushes were extra thorny! Ouch! Incredible views, meadows, and wild flowers. Encountered a grouse with cheepers. :)

Christine McVay (227)

2 Completed2 Reviews

This is a really tough trail with amazing views. If you are hiking from Bowlens Creek Road all the way to Mt. Mitchell, I would give it a couple days and camp overnight if you are not an expert trekker. It is not the length that will get you, but the terrain. There are steep, rocky climbs and tough hills that go straight up in places. However, you are rewarded with extraordinary views, awesome wildlife photos and just an overwhelming sense of peace. Hubby packs an REI self inflating mat, since there is no place to camp without a few rocks beneath the tent.

Joshua Brinkerhoff (138)

8 Completed4 Reviews

Googled "hardest trail east of the mississippi" and apparently this one is it. Did a winter hike from bowlens creek to the summit then crossed the ridge back to bowlens creek. So essentially did it twice. Excellent trail. Definitely a knee knocker. Plenty of elevation change to wear you out. Not as many rock scrambles as I expected. Be careful of the weather, sometimes it changes pretty rapidly and getting stuck out there during it becomes quite the adventure. If there is no snow of the ground, be sure to bring plenty of water. Some of the best views you will ever see closer to the east coast. Plenty of solitude later in the colder months.

Tony Mcvay (137)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great trail, not any more rugged than MS trail from woodland park to 80 on parkway and or tank bark tunnel up towards mt Mitchell.
I had trouble finding trail head, it's on
" private " rd called water shed rd, before cemetery, follow to forest rd entrance.

Ben Harris (328)

7 Completed6 Reviews

Started at Mt Mitchell visit center and went north towards deep gap. Stayed the night on top of winter star mountain, would have liked to have made it to celo's knob but others in the group didn't have enough water for the out and back trip. After a pretty intense thunderstorm through out the night we woke up to good weather and hiked back to the truck. Great out and back trip without going all the way to Bowlens creek. One bad thing though... No water so bring plenty!

Chris Herndon (153)

2 Completed1 Reviews

Challenging trail! Great views. Completed an out and back solo hike (with my 11 year old shepherd mix Cassie who rocked it!) beginning at trail head at Bowlens Creek mid afternoon on Friday, camped 5 miles in, hit Mt. Mitchell summit mid afternoon on Saturday and it was pouring raining and I was in the clouds. Spent a wet night at the designated camping area near the summit. Hiked out Sunday back to Bowlens Creek trail head in around 7 hours. Great elevation climb with a good ridge run across what is said to be the most 6000+ peaks on the east coast. Headed back next weekend (early Dec 2012) with friend to hike it again!

Danny Layton (130)

6 Completed4 Reviews

Been hiking this area all summer. Sweet ridge hike. Pleasant surprises along the way. Steep areas. Happy trees!

Adams Baker (1062)

12 Completed2 Reviews

I just hiked this from Bolen's Creek to Mt. Mitchell and back to Bolen's Creek in 9.5 hours. It was a challenging hike but it has the potential for great views (it was enshrouded in clouds today, sadly). I highly recommend the hike even if you just do it one way. Unfortunately, Mt. Mitchell is a little jarring after hiking for 11 miles in solitude: it seems to be always crowded (even on a cloudy day like today).

Jim Suiter (259)

25 Completed8 Reviews

Just completed 2-nighter -- an out and back beginning at southern terminus at Mt Mitchell. I haven't done any New England hikes, but this trail definitely earns its reputation as the most rugged trail in the Eastern US. If you plan to do in one day, go S to N. Hiking N to S in one day with full pack would exceed the limits of most hikers, I think, certainly mine. Bowlen's Creek to Deep Gap is the sane itinerary, hiking N to S. Memorable challenging sections - sustained ascent from Bowlen's Creek to Celo Knob - not stairstep steep, like the rest of the trail, just long, with easy tread. The scramble up Winter Star Mtn (including ropes). The ascent out of Deep Gap up Potato Hill. Steep ascent (but not as long as the others) up Big Tom. The trail description say elevation gain is 1417 -- not even close, just the difference between the lowest point and the highest is over 3000 feet.

Support