How to climb a mountain and be back in Charlotte in time for lunch

One of the best things about living in Charlotte is the perfect balance of city and country living.  Where else can you enjoy the excitement of a major city and explore the remnants of an ancient mountain range all before lunchtime? On an unusually cool July Saturday we ventured the 28 miles from Charlotte to Crowder’s Mountain State Park in Kings Mountain, NC.  We left around 10:15 AM.  It was our first time visiting, so we stopped by the visitor’s center and got some great advice for us beginners.  We decided to take the “moderate” 2.0 (one-way) Pinnacle Trail, which would lead us all the way up to the top of the 1,705 foot King’s Pinnacle.  King’s Pinnacle is the highest point in Gaston County, with the top of Crowder’s Mountain closely behind at 1,625 feet.

The last .7 miles of the trail were by far the most difficult, and the trail actually ends right before you get to the top of King’s Pinnacle.  To get to the top navigate your way over the rocks right above where the trail ends.  It will be worth it I promise.

On the way back down, we took a different and slightly longer route by following the Turnback Trail.  This way was easier but offered different views than the way we had just come.  By the time we had spent about 30 minute enjoying the view, hiked back, and explored the nearby lake, the total trip time was a little over 2 hours (plus the 30 minute drive each way). My advice: pack some snacks or a quick lunch and dine right on the ridge with panoramic views of the Charlotte city skyline on one side and the Blue Ridge mountains on the other.  And then take a picture like this, because you earned it.

One thought

  1. I love (and sincerely miss) Crowder's Mountain. We visited nearly every weekend. Nothing is as satisfying as hiking in the mountains surrounded by trees and a fresh breeze. I hate that I finally got around to purchasing new hiking boots and then moved before I could really break them in. FYI, I belonged to a really awesome group of local ladies that meets up weekly to go hiking in and around Charlotte. It's a ladies only group (for safety reasons) and they're fantastic. You should check them out: http://www.meetup.com/Rogue-Dames-of-North-Carolina/

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