Sunday, March 17, 2013

Morrow Mountain State Park - Morrow Mountain Summit


       We got to climb the highest peak in Stanly County....Morrow Mountain!

Another incredibly nice North Carolina State Park....located on the shores of Lake Tillery and boasting some pretty steep peaks of the Uwharrie Mountain of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.

The Park boasts small mountain peaks, a variety of trails-for horses and people.  It also is on the shore of Lake Tillery at the point where the Yadkin River  empties in the reservoir.  It has a swimming pool, boat marina, museum of natural history....this park has something for everyone.

 We elected to hike Morrow Mountain and then if we felt like it...take on Sugarloaf Mountain.... The trail up to the summit begins a the horse trailer lot near the park entrance.  If you make this hike remember that the trail head is almost directly across the parking lot from restroom does not have a sign but it is orange blazed.  Take the Sugarloaf loop to the right and you will find the Morrow Mountain Trail in about a half mile.

At the 1.5 mile mark a nice walk in the woods suddenly got serious....It is hard to imagine that in the middle of Stanley County there is a steep climb to the summit of a 935 foot mountain peak....but there is was!

As we took frequent breaks up this climb to let our heartbeat slow to about 150 bpm...we got glimpses of the surrounding countryside.

As we were catching our breath we found ourselves both embarrassed and encouraged by a young 8 year old by the name of Max.... He breezed right past us and turned around...what else could we do but get up and follow the little guy to the top of Morrow Mountain!

The summit of Morrow Mountain can be more easily accessed by car, which is really not very fair. As you get close to the end of the trail you can hear the cars and motorcycles and even smell the hamburgers cooking on the grills in the picnic area.  But you can also see some nice views of the countryside.

You also can learn a little history on top of Morrow Mountain. 

On the way down that mountain it occurred to me that we had not seen a cairn on this mountain trail. It was a Sunday hike and I felt the need to praise God for the beauty of this I did what the Cherokees used to do..... I built a cairn and with every stone offered my prayer of Thanksgiving...and if by chance you venture up Morrow Mountain and this cairn is still there...maybe you will pause and give thanks too.

We decided to forego the ascent of Sugarloaf Mountain to go instead to a trail along the river.  Not often can you find a hiking venue that boasts solid mountain trails and river views but Morrow Mountain has several to choose from.  We were ambitious and decided to venture out on the 4.1 mile Fall Mountain Loop....having just walked 4.8 miles on the Morrow Mountain Trail we knew we were pushing our limits but the views were too good to turn down.

The Fall Mountain Trail begins on the upriver side of the boat marina.  The marina sits at the point where the Yadkin River merges with Lake Tillery as marked by this small tree lined island.

The trail follows the riverbank up the river and there are several nice feeder creeks that caught my photographic interest.

Leaning out over the riverbank with one arm latched onto a river oak, I got a nice shot upstream of the Yadkin River. 

Looking back down the trail there is a nice view of a boater fishing on Lake Tillery.

After about a half mile the river trail turns away from the river along a woodland trail.  We took in a mile of the trail before we decided to forego another hill climb and returned to the parking lot logging a total of 7.5 miles for the afternoon.  Great trails....great park...Morrow Mountain State Park is about a hour and a half drive from the access is 8....trails are well maintained and easily followed 8...scenery is a 7.....overall grade of 8.....

Just like the other State Parks we have visited this will take more than one trip to experience all the Park has to offer...can't wait to make a return trip....Sugarloaf and Fall Mountain must be climbed!

No comments:

Post a Comment