The ride to the top of Mount Mitchell is easily one of the most infamous, challenging, scenic and rewarding routes in the southeast. Local cyclists as well as those throughout the region know what a beautiful beast this mountain can be, and they continue coming back for more. In fact, each May, there's even a race known as the Assault on Mt Mitchell that travels 102-miles and gains roughly 10,000 feet of climbing.
Casual riders have a couple different options. They can either attempt the entire century route outlined in the race course itself, or they can shorten the ride to a more modest (although still challenging) 27 miles. For this latter option, cyclists begin in the small mountain town of Marion, and ride up roads with pitches of about 8-10 percent and elevation gains of about 5,000 feet.
The Blue Ridge Parkway section of this ride provides stunning & sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, and if you go early enough, you can enjoy the best sunrise of your life. But really, anytime the roads aren't icy is a great time to go.