What’s happening to the tower on top of Mt. Mitchell? The old tower was taken down last year and a new one was promised “soon”. The top picture is an artist’s rendition of the new tower. The bottom picture is what it looks like now.
I drove to the top of Mt. Mitchell yesterday to see how the new tower was coming along. Well, in short, it’s getting there but it’s not finished yet. The park had hoped for an open house in November but now they’re planning it for the Spring.
I kept calling the Mt. Mitchell State Park Office every week for weeks and all I got was “We’re working on it.” When I got up there, there was a buzz of activities. Mostly they need to finish the trail/ramp up to the tower. Also, the safety fence around the tower has to be installed.
The tower looks very similar to the one on Clingmans Dome in the Smokies but without the long walk. In fact, one of the main reasons the N.C. State Park system decided to replace it was to make it handicapped accessible. There is a short ramp up to the tower. Rangers will be able to take disabled people up to the tower in a golf cart. Walkers will find that the ramp is shorter and smoother than the one to the old tower.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed just south of the Mt. Mitchell Rd. so you need to approach the road from the north. From Asheville, that means taking Rt. 80.