« Broad River Greenway | Main | Mount Mitchell State Park »

Mount Jefferson State Natural Area


Mount Jefferson rises abruptly to more than 1,600 feet above the surrounding landscape. The Mount Jefferson State Natural Area has 2 miles of moderate to strenuous trails, all above 4,000 feet in elevation, that cross through a variety of natural communities. Beneath the canopy of oak and chestnut is an understory of Catawba rhododendron, mountain laurel, flame azalea and dogwood. The bird life in this high-elevation forest includes several species not seen at lower elevations. During the breeding season, watch for Chestnut-sided, Canada and Black-throated Blue Warblers, as well as Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Dark-eyed Junco and White-breasted Nuthatch nesting in the woodlands. Their melodies are often heard with the song of the Veery at dusk and dawn. The wing beats of flushed Ruffed Grouse often surprise hikers along the trail. Rock outcroppings provide spectacular views for birds of prey, though hikers should be aware of hazards associated with cliffs.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Least Flycatcher, Veery, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Canada Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak


northern hardwood/cove forest, oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine, rocky outcrop, heath bald

Access and Parking

The park is open 9am to 5pm, November - February; 9am to 7pm, March, April, September, October; 9am to 8pm, May - August. A public vehicle area is provided at the end of the Mount Jefferson State Park Road, adjacent to the Summit Trail. Vehicular access may be restricted during inclement weather.


Mount Jefferson State Natural Area is located off NC 221 in West Jefferson. Turn on Mount Jefferson State Park Road. Roads signs are posted on NC 221

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page

Bird List

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>