The tower at Mount Mitchell is closed for visitation. The notice on their website is:
NOTICE: The observation tower and tower trail will be closed due to construction until further notice. There will also be trail detours on Old Mitchell Trail, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Balsam Nature Trail.
I have contacted the Admin Office and received this response;
"Good morning, The tower trail and observation tower are closed. You can drive to the summit parking area where the concession stand, gift store and museum are located. Due to the dangerous conditions, no one is allowed inside of the construction area. Even park staff are not allowed inside of the closed area. This construction will be ongoing at least until the spring of 2007 and possibly later, depending on weather conditions. Have a nice day. Renee Baranczyk, Office Assistant"
As a side note: A short section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, NC is closed for bridge repair until late October. The Sims Creek Bridge detour at Milepost 295 takes visitors only four miles off of the Parkway and is well marked. This closure will probably slow visitation to some as well. A friend of mine is over there now working as an engineer for the DOT and he thinks the construction will go longer on the bridge.