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Old Mitchell Toll Road



9.1 mile 14.6 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,709' 521 m
Descent: -546' -166 m
High: 5,119' 1,560 m
Low: 3,576' 1,090 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)


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Historic doubletrack with some singletrack and amazing views of the mountains.

Marcus Barton

Electric Mountain Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Old Mitchell Toll Road is Closed at Sourwood Gap & above annually from Oct 1st through January 1st for hunting season.


Primarily doubletrack and a steady climb up to the top of Heartbreak Ridge trail. Long sections of loose river stone, so settle in and get used to the rocks. Along the way you can stop for some awesome views of the mountains. At the end of the trail where you'll find two old campers (one a trailer and the other a van), you'll find the trailhead for Heartbreak Ridge.

The Mt. Mitchell Railroad and Logging Company was started in 1914 when a route for a narrow gauge switchback railroad started about one mile east of Black Mountain and ran to about 3/4 mile from the top of Mt. Mitchell, where Camp Alice was built for the loggers to live. The purpose of this railroad was to log balsam trees for building airplanes in support of World War I. The balsam logs were brought from Mt. Mitchell to a sawmill located just beyond what is now the entrance to the Old Toll Road.

The railroad was at times used as a tourist attraction but its primary purpose was logging. The logging operation prospered until the end of the war and it was no longer profitable. The railroad was converted to a toll motor road. The motor road became one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. It was not unusual for 150 cars a day to make the trip. It was a one way road, up by 11 AM and down by 4 PM. You could spend the night at Camp Alice which had been converted to a rustic inn and restaurant. The Toll Road was successful until 1938 when the Blue Ridge Parkway was opened and the State of North Carolina built a free road to Mt. Mitchell.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features

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Mar 17, 2019
Joel Mathewson
Grade isn't that steep but extremely bumpy 9.1mi
Oct 30, 2018
Mitch Tucker
too much hike-a-bike, lots of loose rock makes climbing next to impossible. Don't know that I will repeat. 9.1mi
Sep 23, 2016
Andrew Metcalf

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 4 votes


in Montreat


  3.0 from 4 votes
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89 Views Last Month
8,688 Since Apr 9, 2014



Gotta love rocks
Apr 10, 2014 near Black M…, NC
Campers at the top of the Toll Road just before you dive down Heatbreak
Aug 17, 2014 near Black M…, NC
Taking a break
Aug 17, 2014 near Black M…, NC
Near the top of Old Mitchell Toll road during the summer.
Jul 17, 2018 near Black M…, NC
Sign posted to show when Old Mitchell Toll Road is closed.
Oct 17, 2017 near Black M…, NC

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