Mitchell County Recreation

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Outdoor Recreation

The four seasons of the year are an experience to behold in Mitchell County! Springtime in the mountains is a wondrous occurrence as the rebirth of the new season approaches. During the summer, temperatures remain in the mid 80's, with an occasional cool mountain breeze.

The fall foliage display offers picturesque views, warm days, and cool nights. The winters are somewhat mild, with moderate snowfall, and most of the nearby ski resorts have excellent snowmaking equipment for the rare times when there isn't enough natural snow for skiing.

The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is 2,155 miles long and runs from Maine to Georgia and has a section of trail through Mitchell County near Roan Mountain. From Carver's Gap, the trail is 1.36 miles to the fork of the Appalachian Trail/Grassy Ridge Trail, and another .57 miles to a 360-degree view atop a pile of boulders on Grassy Ridge. Maps are available from the U.S. Forest Service at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals in Spruce Pine.

Roan Mountain

Roan Mountain is known for its large natural rhododendron garden and Bakersville is home of the North Carolina Rhododendron Festival. Roan Mountain is the perfect place for a scenic hike at any time of the year. The Cloudland Trail, a popular 1.2-mile hike to Roan High Bluff Overlook is well worth your trip.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers many picturesque trails just off the Parkway. Crabtree Falls Trail at Milepost 339.5 is a two-mile hike featuring view of a 60-foot waterfall and also offers picnic and camping opportunities. Chestoa View Trail at Milepost 320.8 offers an easy .63 mile loop hike to a majestic view. The Pinnacle of The Blue Ridge is a trail that begins near the Parkway at Toe River Gap from which you can see mountain wildlife and views of the Black Mountain Range, the Craggies, Grandfather Mountain, Hawksbill, Table Rock, and other well known landmarks.

Mt. Mitchell

Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River and offers short strolls and extensive hikes, which feature spectacular views up to 70 miles away. There is also a museum near the summit, a concession stand and a seasonal restaurant.

Whitewater Rafting / Canoeing

The Toe River Canoe Trail runs 37 miles down the North Toe River from Riverside Park in Spruce Pine to Poplar. The trail travels through class I, II and III rapids, passing primarily undeveloped forest and farmland. There are beautiful scenic views of mountains, rapids and valleys. Many kinds of wildlife can be spotted along the way, including Great Blue Herons, ducks, hawks, ospreys, turtles, fish and amphibians.

Lake Access

Lake access is within 30 minutes of Mitchell County. Lake James offers leisure boating, skiing, jet skiing, and fishing.


Grassy Creek Golf Course and Country Club is located on Highway 226. The eighteen hole, par seventy-two-championship course is open to the public and offers amenities that include a driving range, pro shop, restaurant, and clubhouse.

Hunting and Fishing

Hunting and fishing is excellent in Mitchell County. The avid outdoorsman may experience an opportunity to hunt deer, coon, small game, turkey and grouse. Creeks, rivers, and their tributaries offer excellent fishing holes that are classified as native trout waters. The North Toe is a great spot to catch Muskie as well as small and large-mouth bass. The Towns of Bakersville and Spruce Pine offer fishing access from their public parks.