It looks like an optical illusion, but it’s not. It’s the closest thing you’ll see to a flying buttress on a mountaintop. It’s the new ADA compliant ramp at Mount Mitchell State Park in North Carolina.
In case you don’t already know, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 ft. above sea level. A few years ago, the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation decided to tear down the aging stone observation tower at the summit of Mount Mitchell and, of course, replace it with an ADA compliant tower. Nevermind that the average person pushing a wheelchair could never make it up the paved incline to get to the tower in the first place. While visiting two days ago, I watched some poor man attempt it with his elderly mother. He went about 100 ft. and promptly turned the wheelchair around in disgust.
Chances are nobody on wheels is going to enjoy this new observation ramp and deck (which kind of resembles a bobsled track) other than a few infants in strollers with parents eager to work off that baby weight. Nevertheless, it makes for one of the more unique of western North Carolina’s many mountaintop eyesores….