July 25, 2024

Smooal-7oob

Full Of Eastern Travel

Explore Crowders Mountain State Park

Crowders Mountain State Park in southwestern North Carolina stretches from the South Carolina state line northeast toward Gastonia, North Carolina. The park follows a rugged Appalachian ridgeline that includes Crowders Mountain and Kings Pinnacle. Crowders Mountain is a kyanite-quartzite monadnock rising to 1,625 feet with sheer vertical cliffs. Kyanite was mined in the area in the 1800s. In contrast, Kings Pinnacle has a higher elevation of 1,705 feet with a rounded profile. The land was once the hunting ground of the Catawba and Cherokee Indians. During the Revolutionary War, a small army of American Patriots who had settled along the frontier marched over this ridge to battle the British army at nearby Kings Mountain in South Carolina. These scrappy “Overmountain” men, who were mostly farmers and hunters, surprised the British troops commanded by Major Patrick Ferguson and inflicted heavy casualties. This decisive victory by Patriot forces was a turning in the war, causing the British to retreat from the region.

There are miles of hiking trails in Crowders Mountain State Park. The Ridgeline Trail begins near the summit of Kings Pinnacle and follows the ridge south to the South Carolina state line. In South Carolina the Ridgeline Trail connects to trails that continue through Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park near Blacksburg. Other trails at Crowders Mountain State Park lead hikers toward the summit of Crowders Mountain. The Backside Trail is strenuous, with 336 steps at the top. The Rocktop Trail and the Tower Trail are also strenuous and steep. The Lake Trail and the Fern Trail are much easier to hike. Visitors may see a variety of wildlife in the park including black and turkey vultures that roost on rocky outcrops.

Another popular activity at Crowders Mountain State Park is rock climbing, which is allowed in designated areas. Pitons and bolts are not permitted. Bouldering is allowed on Buzzards Roost. Fishing is permitted in the park’s lake with a North Carolina fishing license. Canoes are available for rent. Other recreational activities include picnicking and camping. Primitive campsites are available with water and pit toilets. Campers must hike to the sites with their gear. There are also primitive group campsites in the park.

Crowders Mountain State Park can be accessed off I-85 in North Carolina at Exit 8 (Hwy 161). Follow directional signs to the park. The park is open year round, but park hours vary seasonally. There is no park entrance fee.