Popular trailhead access to Mount Mitchell to close temporarily for major overhaul

The love for North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, its trails, rivers, campgrounds and other amenities, shows no sign of slowing down.

It’s not just Bent Creek Experimental Forest’s parking lots in Asheville that are full to overflowing on the weekends, and even weekday afternoons. The dilemma is spread across the forest’s range through Western North Carolina.

A particularly troublesome spot in the Yancey County town of Burnsville will soon get some breathing room. A $257,000 U.S. Forest Service project will improve the South Toe trailhead parking area, which includes a $100,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Recreation Trail Program.

The trailhead parking area on the Appalachian Ranger District, across from Black Mountain Campground, will close March 4, 2019 through June for the expansion project.

The South Toe trailhead is an access point for five hiking trails, including the popular Mount Mitchell Trail, an approximately 5.7-mile trail with 3,600 feet of elevation gain to the highest summit in the Eastern United States.

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