We start our day in North Carolina, driving on that darn Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt Mitchell State Park. At 6,684 feet, it is the highest peak in the US east of the Mississippi. We had a few options to choose from to summit. We could drive almost all the way up. Or we could hike up several different routes. Our choices were (in round trip miles) the 15.5 mile loop, the 11.2 mile up and back, or the 4 mile loop from the ranger post. We took the 4 mile loop.
This isn’t the toughest route, but it will give you a good workout. The trail starts by steeply climbing into the forest. The rocks form stairs, the roots cross the trail like spiderwebs, and there are several spots where wooden steps were built into the trail.
That was not the end of our day!!!! We did a twofer and drove down to South Carolina also. We hit the High Point of the state much as we did Kentucky, by barely driving over the state line and driving up the mountain. There are several trails that you hike up to the high point, in case you are a purest.
The view is nice in most directions, but there are towers right behind me, and no amenities. HighPoint #6 is Sassafras Mountain at 3,560 ft. And that was the end of our day.