The tallest mountain range in the eastern United States, the Black Mountains, is home to the tallest peak — Mount Mitchell, at 6,684 feet elevation — and more than a dozen others higher than 6,000 feet, making them cool year-round and perfect for summer hiking.
The High Peaks Trail Association, a nonprofit based in Burnsville, leads hikes, builds and maintains trails and works to advance public awareness and appreciation for the natural environment of the Black Mountain Range and the North and South Toe River basins.
Incorporated in 2010, High Peaks started working to get the word out about the Blacks, especially all the luscious trails that emanate from the Black Mountain Campground off N.C. 80 in the shadow of Mount Mitchell.
They got a grant from the N.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to publish a 20-page booklet with 14 trails that come out of the campground. Some are easy, some go to waterfalls that splash down and have nice swimming holes. Some are strenuous.
The booklet, “Trails of the Black Mountain Campground,” contains hike descriptions, topographic and Google Earth maps, elevation chart, pictures and trailhead information for each trail. They are available for free at Black Mountain Campground, Carolina Hemlocks Campground, Yancey/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, Mount Mitchell State Park and Asheville Visitors Center on Montford Avenue.
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