Mount Mitchell


Staying at Greg’s Cabin at Willow Winds proved to be a great choice. I loved having my green tea in the morning on the outdoor balcony looking out at the Tulip trees and listening to the sounds of the fountains. The location was perfect: close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Downtown Asheville, and the Airport. There is so much to do here in this beautiful and majestic landscape!

Judi Irons (Scottsdale, AZ)

At 6,684 feet,The highest peak east of the Mississippi
1 mile: Easy

From North Carolina cabin rentals in the Asheville area, it’s not hard to earn bragging rights to the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Drive approximately 35 miles from town to Mount Mitchell State Park, walk about five minutes from the parking lot and you’re there! Climb the stairs to the top of the observation tower, and you’re rewarded with 360-degree vistas.

If that sounds too easy, get in some more exercise and a brief education on the high-altitude forests. The Balsam Nature Trail veers off the summit path and travels through rare boreal forests that established themselves during the last Ice Age.

Of course, this forest type can only exist because of the cooler temperatures way up high. Bring a jacket to fend off the chilly winds that sometimes blow.

On the trail

From the parking lot, simply follow the signs to the summit. On the way back, take a right on the Balsam Nature Trail, which loops back to the parking lot.

Sun peaking through clouds over a mountain range

Driving directions

From Willow Winds, take a right on Sweeten Creek Road. Drive 0.5 miles and then take a left on Rock Hill Road at the traffic light. Drive one mile down and then take a left on Hendersonville Road. Just 0.2 miles down, take a right onto the entrance ramp for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Exit the parkway shortly after mile 356, at Mount Mitchell State Park. Continue to the road’s end at the concession area parking lot.


We found Willow winds while researching for our 2nd annual girl’s trip ~ three sisters and our wonderful mother. We had a wonderful time at Beautiful Biltmore! It was nice to come back to “Mom’s Manor” and relax. We loved the pond, fountains, and hot tub. After a day of walking it was a nice retreat.

Thanks for a most relaxing and memorable atmosphere to enjoy time with my sisters and mother. We Loved It!!

Janette Corum, J. Self, J. Beck, J.Meadows

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