Short line mountain railroads are often miracles of construction. Built primarily for shipping logs, the Mount Mitchell Railroad was no exception. Within a span of 21 miles, the road climbed 3,500 feet, but utilised only three trestles and nine switchbacks, while maintaining a grade of five and a half percent. In this richly illustrated work, the author brings to life a time when Mount Mitchell was dressed in virgin timber. Access to the mountain, located in Western North Carolina, was slow and difficult; but after completion of the railroad, a timbering industry was born. The railroad also provided tourists with scenic trips along its rugged contours.