When it comes to activities here in the North Carolina mountains, the main one that most think about, and want to do, is explore our mountains. This is a wonderful way to take a day or more away from your regular life and discover something different, and most likely, something new about yourself. When you immerse yourself in nature, your senses get heightened and you are more aware of everything around you. You rely on yourself more for navigation and when you come out the other side, you will be transformed. We at The Orchard Inn always recommend going on a hike at least once while you are here. There are so many amazing places around here to go exploring that sometimes it’s hard to choose one. One of our top choices is heading to Mount Mitchell State Park. Let us show you our top 4 activities to participate in when visiting Mount Mitchell State Park.
Mount Mitchell State Park is located north of Asheville and takes a couple of hours to reach from Saluda. As stated on the website, it can be tricky to find so be sure to input their GPS coordinates so you will be able to find them easily. Once you arrive at Mount Mitchell State Park you will be amazed at the landscape and view. You will get to see the nearby Black Mountains with Mount Mitchell its tallest peak standing at 6,684 feet, the tallest point east of the Mississippi.
The first activity to engage in at Mount Mitchell State Park is hiking. They have a wonderful map showing all of the 8 trails throughout Mount Mitchell State Park, including one that goes up to the summit. There are a few things to keep in mind when hiking at Mount Mitchell State Park. The first is that you are hiking at your own risk. Anything can happen out on the trails and storms can pop up out of nowhere so just always be cautious. Also, dress appropriately, it can be cooler out on the trails than you think. Lastly, have fun. There are so many wonderful things to experience while you are there.
Next, go birding. Visitors over the years have seen over 90 different species of birds while out in Mount Mitchell State Park. There is an observation tower that you can go into where some have seen falcons flying. Other areas have been home to high altitude birds like ruffled grouse and winter wrens. Be sure to bring some binoculars and a camera!
Once you are done, head over to their museum. You will be able to learn so much about Mount Mitchell State Park. It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm from May to October and in it you will see how tall Mount Mitchell is compared to other nearby mountains. You will also learn more about the man who helped discover Mount Mitchell as well as the animals and types of rock and geology that is found in the mountains.
Lastly, end your day at Mount Mitchell State Park at the gift shop. You will be able to find books and crafts of all varieties here for not only yourself but for a loved one. This is also where you can find a quick snack before heading back on the road.
When you are surrounded by such amazing beauty it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy coming to the Western North Carolina mountains for their vacations. When visitors do decide to come here, they love staying with us at The Orchard Inn. We have rooms as well as cottages available perfect for any group size. We also love our four-legged friends as much as you do and have a pet friendly cottage ready for them. Each morning with us is started off with breakfast cooked by our chefs. Don’t be surprised if you see some locals joining us for breakfast, they love stopping by as well. Contact our wonderful staff today and let us help you plan a wonderful holiday to our area.
Photo by: Jeremy Markovich