Crowder’s Mountain State Park
Trail: Crowder’s Mountain via Tower Loop and Pinnacle Trail
– Pinnacles: 4.44 Miles
– Tower Loop: 3.24 Miles
Date: June and July 2021
Description: Both loops greet you with gradual elevation gain as you ascend 800ft to the top of what remains of an ancient mountain range in the area of the Appalachian Mountain foothills. At the top of both of these trails, you have a great vantage point for the surrounding countryside with Pinnacles giving you a far reaching view to the Blue Ridge mountains to the northwest and the Tower Loop giving you miles of tree canopies and a spotted landscape of farms to the southeast. The towers of Charlotte are clearly visible roughly 30 miles away. Both hikes reward you with a diversity of trees and variable stone indicative of the region as you travel various switchbacks and some scrambling if you seek it out. We did these hikes separately and both start at different trail heads on opposite side of the park. Ambitious hikers can loop these trails via the saddle between the peaks for a ~10 mile loop.
Crowder’s Mountain has an interesting history. The density of the stone means it has withstood the erosion of time, leveling other peaks in the area and making it a towering monolith comparatively. It is easy to see why it was used for a landmark to mark trading routes in the area and likely to distinguish Catawba and Cherokee Tribe hunting lands.