Morrow Mountain State Park

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Morrow Mountain State Park
North Carolina State Park
Natural Monument (IUCN III)
Morrow Mountain Overlook
Named for: Morrow Mountain
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyStanly
Location
 - coordinates35°23′36″N 80°04′59″W / 35.39333°N 80.08306°W / 35.39333; -80.08306Coordinates: 35°23′36″N 80°04′59″W / 35.39333°N 80.08306°W / 35.39333; -80.08306
 - elevation440 ft (134.1 m)
Area4,742 acres (1,919 ha)
Highest point
 - coordinates35°21′09″N 80°05′34″W / 35.3525°N 80.09278°W / 35.3525; -80.09278
 - elevation905 ft (276 m)
Founded1939
Managed byNorth Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Locator Red.svg
Location of Morrow Mountain State Park in North Carolina
Location of Morrow Mountain State Park in North Carolina
Website : Morrow Mountain State Park
 
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Morrow Mountain State Park
North Carolina State Park
Natural Monument (IUCN III)
Morrow Mountain Overlook
Named for: Morrow Mountain
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyStanly
Location
 - coordinates35°23′36″N 80°04′59″W / 35.39333°N 80.08306°W / 35.39333; -80.08306Coordinates: 35°23′36″N 80°04′59″W / 35.39333°N 80.08306°W / 35.39333; -80.08306
 - elevation440 ft (134.1 m)
Area4,742 acres (1,919 ha)
Highest point
 - coordinates35°21′09″N 80°05′34″W / 35.3525°N 80.09278°W / 35.3525; -80.09278
 - elevation905 ft (276 m)
Founded1939
Managed byNorth Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Locator Red.svg
Location of Morrow Mountain State Park in North Carolina
Location of Morrow Mountain State Park in North Carolina
Website : Morrow Mountain State Park

Morrow Mountain State Park is a state park in Stanly County, North Carolina. Located near Albemarle, North Carolina, it covers 4,742 acres (19 km²) within the Uwharrie Mountains.

Contents

Geography

Morrow Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Uwharrie Mountains of central North Carolina. At one time these mountains rose to nearly 20,000 feet (6,100 m) above sea level, but erosion has gradually worn them down to little more than high hills. The park contains several peaks, of which Morrow Mountain is a high point at 936 feet (285 m). The mountain rises some 400 feet (120 m) above the surrounding lower terrain, and offers superb views of the surrounding countryside on a clear day. In addition to the mountains, the park also contains the Yadkin-Pee Dee River, one of central North Carolina's largest river systems. The river can be seen from the overlook atop Morrow Mountain.

Attractions

A scenic overlook located at the top of Morrow Mountain provides a panoramic view of the area. There is a large parking area at the top, along with a picnic area and a picnic shelter.

Lake Tillery

Part of the Uwharrie River and Pee Dee River system, Lake Tillery was formed when the Tillery Dam was built in 1928. Morrow Mountain State Park has a boat launch as well as a waterfront picnic area and a fishing access pier. A boardwalk connects the parking area to the boat launch area. Canoes can be rented daily during the summer. Spring and fall rentals are available on weekends only. There are no canoe rentals during the winter months.

Kron House

A reconstruction of the historic Kron House is on site. The house was built by a Scottish preacher, William McGregor, who sold it to Dr. Kron. Dr. Kron was one of the Southern Piedmont's most famous doctors. Kron was known for traveling days at a time, making house calls to those bitterly sick. Morrow Mountain State Park reconstructed his house in the 1960s and now offers tours.[1]

Camping

Morrow Mountain has 4 camping areas. The Group Camping area has three sites where RVs and trailers can be taken. The youth campsite is on the east side of the park, up a hill near the Tillery shoreline. Remote campsites are accessible through the Backpack Trail and have one latrine. The Cabins site is near the park office. The Cabins have modern conveniences such as stoves, grills and refrigerators. All have porches and a patio area. They can be rented by the weekend. All campers must fill out a Morrow Mountain campsite application form before or upon showing up in the park. Fees are required.

Museum

A small museum commemorating the history of the Uwharries is on the far end of the Camp Office parking lot. Exhibits include information about Native Americans, area plant and animal communities, early explorers, and rocks and minerals. It is open 6 days a week from 9 to 5. It is a self-guided tour.

Trails

With 32 miles (51 km) of trail in the park, Morrow Mountain is one of the most hiked state parks in North Carolina.

Backpack Trail: A 1-mile (1.6 km) trail, this white circle blazed trail takes backpackers to campsites 1, 2, and 3. It splits from the Morrow Mountain/Sugarloaf Mountain Trail and ends in Campsite 3 at the latrine. At the end of the Backpack Trail, one can bushwhack due south to reach the Bridle Trail, which one can then take to the Morrow Mountain Trail. Difficulty = Easy

Bridle Trail: Morrow Mountain State Park has 16 miles (26 km) of horse trails, which may also be used for hiking. In 2005, the Bridle Trail was split into 3 different trails. The Short Loop (white horse circle blazes) includes a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) hike to and around Morrow Mountain. The Middle Loop is 5.2 miles (8.4 km) and is a longer version of the Short Loop trail. The Long Loop is the 16-mile (26 km) trail; it circles the Morrow Mountain vicinity as well as the northern section of the park. Difficulty = Medium

Campground and Pool Trail: This 0.8-mile (1.3 km) trail is blazed with white triangles. This one-way trail starts across from the Morrow Mountain pool and runs through the woods, connecting the pool, the camp office, and the three family campgrounds. The trail is mostly in woods, but runs through some undergrowth. The Morrow Mountain amphitheatre is also near the end of the trail. The trail ends at campground #3, near the Rocks Trail. Difficulty = Easy

Hattaway Mountain Trail: This 2-mile (3.2 km) loop is classified as strenuous. Starting at the Morrow Mountain pool, this trail goes about two tenths of a mile before hikers may choose one of two directions. Turning left leads to an immediate climb up Hattaway, a half-mile trek straight uphill. After reaching the top of the mountain, the hiker will begin to descend the mountain, sharply at first and then slowly. Upon reaching a ridge, the trail rolls up and down the Uwharrie hills for nearly a mile. Along the trail, some of the best autumn views can be seen, as hikers can see deep woods. Hattaway offers glimpses of one of the parks many quartz veins. Difficulty = Strenuous

Fall Mountain Trail: A 4.1-mile (6.6 km) trail, blazed with orange triangles, that encompasses Fall Mountain, in the park's eastern region. It is a moderate climb up and then a steep climb down to Falls Dam. From there, hikers walk the rest of the way along the shoreline of Lake Tillery.The trail's path is constantly shifting due to erosion. Difficulty = Medium.

A view of Lake Tillery from the Fall Mountain Trail

Laurel Trail: 0.6 miles (0.97 km), blazed with red hexagons. This short loop trail goes around the Morrow Mountain camping area in deep forest and tall undergrowth. The trail starts at the far end of the camp office parking lot and loops before returning to the start. Turning right at the start of the loop will take you through a deep thicket of undergrowth, before finally emerging in deep woods. The trail crosses over many creeks and is the main way to connect to the Morrow Mountain trail. This short loop is the most popular trail in the park for children. Difficulty = Easy

Morrow Mountain Trail: A 3-mile (4.8 km) (one way) trail that starts at the camp office and ends at the Mountain Loop Trail at the Overlook, the Morrow Mountain Trail is the most hiked trail in the park. Going up Morrow Mountain (or going down) is a decent climb and for the rest of the trail (blue triangle blazes) the trail rolls up and down hills. The trail is the only way to get to the Backpack trail and also joins the Sugarloaf Mountain trail for a mile. The trail takes hikers through deep flora, and one stretch, called "The Jungle", takes hikers past some exotic trees. Difficulty = Medium

Mountain Loop Trail: A 0.8-mile (1.3 km) trail, blazed with red squares, that circles the top of Morrow Mountain, this loop trail provides some of the best views in the park. You can look down from the trail into the depths of the park, seeing for nearly a mile. Bridges take you over gorges created by water erosion. The Mountain Loop also includes the aforementioned Overlook Picnic Area. Difficulty = Easy.

Quarry Trail: A 0.6-mile (0.97 km) trail, blazed with blue hexagons, takes hikers around the edge of the Morrow Mountain picnic area and into the former quarry. For much of the early 20th century, the area was mined for rocks. Hikers may enjoy the evenly cut paths and the washhouses. Near the end of the trail, there is a spur trail to the quarry, where hikers can inspect the quarry handiwork. Difficulty = Easy

Rocks Trail: The most scenic trail in the park. A 1.25-mile (2.01 km) (one way) easy trail, blazed with blue squares, the Rocks trail slopes through the rolling hills of the Uwharrie woods. At the end, the Rocks trail goes into a massive rock outcropping at the lakeshore, where hikers can see for miles. The rocks are stable, but a large "Warning" sign reminds hikers to watch their footing. The view of Tillery Lake from the Rocks Trail is one of the Uwharrie region's most famous views. Difficulty = Easy

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail: The most strenuous trail in the park, Sugarloaf is a tough haul. Most of the trail is winding hills, a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) loop, blazed with orange diamonds, starting at the Bridle Trail parking lot. Many hikers choose to go down Sugarloaf Mountain. Upon reaching the top, the trail drops about 500 feet (150 m) in a quarter of a mile. After going down, the trail joins the Morrow Mountain Trail before bending off back to the Bridle Trail parking lot. The view from the top of Sugarloaf is often clouded, but on a clear day, Sugarloaf's summit is one of the most scenic viewpoints in the park. Difficulty = Strenuous

Three Rivers Trail: Officially considered the nature trail of the park, this 0.6-mile (0.97 km) trail, blazed with blue hexagons, has seen better days. Many of the piers that once dotted the Tillery shoreline have fallen in, but the trail is still commonly hiked. The trail, starting in the Tillery parking lot, goes through marshes and woods, connecting all of the park's ecosystems along one short trail. After passing through marshland and coastline, the trail ascends a small hill, where hikers can find deep woods and wildflowers. The trail then slowly descends the mountain. Difficulty = Easy

Expansion

On August 8, 2006, Alcoa announced that it was giving up 60% of its land assets in the Uwharries. Morrow Mountain was offered approximately 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) to buy. There is no immediate money to buy the land, but the State Park commission says it will likely buy the land and use the State Park Public Trust Fund.

References

  1. ^ http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momo/history.php

External links