This past weekend my boo & I felt like a little getaway. One of our “hiking with dogs in NC” books mentioned Mount Mitchell State Park as a dog-friendly hiking and camping spot. Mount Mitchell State Park is located north of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first time earlier this summer while visiting Shenandoah National Park and I am totally in awe of the beauty! The parkway is a long and winding road that has breathtaking overlooks of the mountains and deep valleys. Wildflowers grow abundantly and rock cliff formations are covered in moss and ferns.
We left right after work on Saturday and drove 3 hours to the tent-only campground inside the park. We read online that the park closes at 10pm and were hoping we would get there just in time. We were totally pushing it, especially since we stopped for gas and snacks along the way! We pulled up to the gate at 10:01 pm and the gate was already closed!! In that moment we began to wonder where we were going to sleep that night. Luckily a car pulled up behind us and happened to be a ranger who was off-duty but getting back to the park. We were very happy that she let us in!! Thankfully we arrived at that exact moment- not sooner or later, because we would have been stuck outside the gates.
The campground has 9 walk-in campsites, a basic bathroom facility, and a potable water source, which is always nice when traveling with doggies who need to stay hydrated. We scouted the sites (luckily there were some walk-up sites available) and chose one that was a little bit off the path. After setting up the tent, we had a little snack and headed to bed.
Kaya, my border collie/german shepard mutt mix, loves to get up at the crack of dawn when we are out camping. She is quite the adventure dog and is very excited to explore. I get her excitement, but 5:30am is not my jam on a Sunday morning. Typically if I get up with her and let her walk around a little bit and use the bathroom, then she’ll chill out for a couple more hours. When we got up for real, we decided to go for a morning walk along the Campground Spur path that leads from the camping area to the summit.
We learned that Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River, so it draws a good number of tourists. We hiked up to the summit but you can also drive and do a short little walk from the parking lot to the peak. After our hike we headed back to the campground and enjoyed a lunch of steak and corn-on-the-cob cooked over our campfire while we played cards and soaked up some sunshine and cool mountain air. Then it was time to head back to Greensboro. We stopped at a lot of the overlooks on the way home because the views were stunning!
For this weekend getaway, I took with me what I was wearing at work on Saturday – Tube Top with Inner Boob Tube in Organic Stretch Cotton & dyed Bluebird and my Love Me 2 Times Simplicity Short Dress in NC Grown Organic Cotton & dyed Midnight. I wore the Love Me 2 Times as a skirt most of the time but at night pulled the waistband up over my tube top for an extra layer of warmth around my core.