This is a favorite local state park, offering everything from lake views to two pinnacle views. My most recent trip there was a hike up the pinnacle trail to see sunset. I’ve also done the Crowders Trail, Rocktop Trail, Lake Trail and Turnback trail. I realize now I’ve only ever parked at the Sparrow Springs access point and never at the second, but I’ll try that another time.
The point here is that I love this park, and you will too if you visit.
The two main trails leave from the park office. Some picnic tables are offered nearby for a quick stop before you hike. Inside is somewhat similar to South Mountains, a small exhibit featured for visitors to learn about the park.
At a split a short distance from the park office, the Pinnacle shoots off to the left and Crowders is to your right. Neither is an easy hike by any means, Pinnacle covers a short distance very quickly via hills, Crowders does so with 300+ stairs. The pinnacle trail is shorter.
The difficulty really only picks up at the very end of the trail. The trail goes through a very rocky section- just takes some careful footing throughout. Then you pass the turnoff for the Turnback Trail- which is a longer, but easier, trail that also connects to the visitors center parking lot.
After this turnoff, the trail starts going up. The whole trail is about a 721 feet climb over about 2 miles.
Approaching the end, you climb up some boulders to get to the first overlook. On a sunny, clear day, an impressive view of far beyond can be seen from here. However, venturing to your right and continuing up the lesser-marked trail gets you to the very top of the pinnacle and to even greater (but a little bit more dangerous) views.
Here are a lot of pictures:
Crowders Trail/Rocktop Trail
I did this trail on another trip with Boy Scouts two years ago. I don’t have a ton of pictures, but thought it was worth mentioning. The view at the top here is more… developed. There is road access and cell phone towers. Reaching the top requires going up a lot of stairs. View wasn’t a ton better than the Pinnacle from what I can remember.
Hiking back the Rocktop Trail was, as expected, very rocky.
I, for whatever reason, did not take many pictures of the trail on this trip.
Lastly, is the lake trail which is accessible via a different parking lot. It’s short, sweet, but doesn’t have much to offer besides views of the lake.
Definitely check out Crowder’s Mountain at some point. Only about 45 minutes away from the Charlotte area, it’s a quick drive with a spectacular variety of views.
Stay tuned over the next week for my next batch of park posts from Northwestern North Carolina!