Yancey County is home to the highest mountain rage in the eastern United States, North Carolina’s first state park, over 38,000 acres of national forest and over 100-miles of trails. However, Yancey County’s lone incorporated town, Burnsville, has no trail connection to these natural wonders. Burnsville is nestled at the feet of the Black Mountain Range, with 17 named peaks over 6,000-feet, including the tallest mountain in the East; Mount Mitchell at 6,684-feet. The Black Mountains host North Carolina’s first established state park, Mount Mitchell State Park, with over half-a-million visitors annually. The Black Mountains are also home to over 25,000 acres of the Pisgah National Forest, with two campgrounds, numerous waterfalls and other natural delights, and the highest trail system in the eastern United States. Burnsville, surrounded by these spectacular natural assets, has no walkable access.”
The Town of Burnsville is seeking to become a nexus of trails including a scenic byway, quilt trails, hiking and river trails, civil war trails, and Blue Ridge music trails. The NC High Peaks Trail Association requested that the Community Design Assistance Center help in the master planning of a trail system that connects the historic district of Burnsville to the US Forest Service Black Mountain Crest Trail including a loop trail to Celo Knob and back and to create a trailhead concept.
Project team: Melissa Philen, Alex Jones, and Joe Niland
Sponsor: Forest Competitive Grant, North Carolina
* Taken from project application dated 10/3/14.