|Hike Name:||Black Mountain Crest Trail|
|Directions:||Start at Mt Mitchell SP off the Blue Ridge Parkway|
|Total Hike Distance:||12.20 miles|
|Hike Difficulty:||Extremely Difficult|
|Hike Type:||One-Way, Shuttle Hike|
|Hike Starts:||Mt Mitchell State Park|
|Hike Ends:||Bolen Creek|
|Trails Used:||Black Mountain Crest Trail|
|Backcountry Water Sources:||Streams, Springs|
|Management:||U.S. Forest Service|
|Contact Information:||Mt Mitchell State Park
Pisgah National Forest
|Road Conditions:||Secondary Paved Roads, Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads|
|Hike Summary:||Ouch! This turned out to be one of the toughest I have ever done. My buddy Chuck from Spruce Pine picked this trek. It is a ridge trail with alot of elevation gain and loss and no switchbacks. We spent a fair amount of time hanging on to trees as we went down, and hanging on to trees as we went up. Water is scarce and there is supposed to be a spring near Deep Gap but the ranger at Mount Mitchell advised that it was barely a trickle so we loaded up before we left. On the descent past Celo bald, there were a couple of springs and seeps before you get down near Bolen Creek.
The trail was well maintained until we reached the border of Mount Mitchell SP. Upon entering Pisgah National Forest we then for the next 5 miles or so bushwacked our way through blackberries and other dense vegetation stuff until just after Celo where the trail turned into an old road which was easier to navigate, but still a tough descent. The scenery on the balds was great when we could see, and I enjoyed the fragance of the evergreens, but the very overgrown sections along with the inherent difficulty of the trail made this a very challenging 2 day hike. I am glad we did it. I just turned 53 and Chuck turned 62 on the trail! Not bad for a couple of AARP eligibles guys! I think we agreed that we were glad we did it but not sure when we'd go back!