AMAZING Views: Hiking Up Crowders Mountain Near Charlotte, NC

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For incredible views of the Charlotte, NC skyline and North Carolina mountains, nothing beats a trek up Crowders Mountain. 

I always have trouble choosing between waterfalls and views when picking out my next hike but that decision comes pretty easy when choosing the trek up Crowders Mountain near Charlotte, NC because the views are incredible. 

Crowders Mountain State Park Photos
Crowders Mountain Views

About Crowders Mountain 

Crowders Mountain State Park is a North Carolina State Park that encompasses a little more than 5,300 acres and is located in Gaston County only 32 miles from Charlotte. There are two summits of Crowders Mountain State Park: Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain.

The mountain rises sharply from pretty flat land and is near Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park where a key Revolutionary War battle took place. The state park has hiking trails, a lake, lots of areas for rock climbing, paddling, fishing, and camping that is accessible only by backpacking. 

Watch! Our Visit to Crowders Mountain State Park

Hiking Crowders Mountain Trails

There are a couple of trails you can take to get in some cardio and amazing views. Both times we visited the park, we did the approximately six-mile loop that takes you to the top of Crowders Mountain. Expect to spend at least three hours on this trail and bring enough water, especially if it’s a hot day. 

I also recommend going counterclockwise when you come to the loop part. It’s certainly a decent climb but a little less strenuous than the hundreds of steps going up the other side of the mountain. If you go counterclockwise, you’ll be about 1.4 miles from the summit. The opposite direction is about 1.8 miles up. We did the entire loop so ended up going down the stairs once we reached the summit. 

The climb up is honestly a lot of fun. The rocks rise so sharply from the ground that they form many great places to climb and explore. But you need to be very careful and stay close to the trail. There are warning signs everywhere – since the rocks jut up so sharply, they are basically sheer cliffs so you cannot, and should not, get anywhere near the edges. 

Crowders Mountain Trails
Gotta choose one way to go

The climb isn’t easy but it’s also not like the Table Rock Trail to the summit or the Dismal Trail near Caesars Head in South Carolina. It’s doable for kids even (we saw lots of kids on the trail) and if you get tired, just take breaks. 

The summit is pretty amazing. On a clear day, you can see the Charlotte skyline to the south and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north. 

The other trail to the Pinnacle Summit is shorter, around four miles. I’ll be doing that trail next time. I did overhear the Ranger say at the Visitors Center that Pinnacle is the highest point at the park and has awesome views. 

Crowders Mountain State Park Visitor Center

I feel like visitor centers are always overlooked at parks. I love checking them out because I always learn something new about the history or landscape of the area. 

This Visitors Center at Crowders Mountain had interesting information about local birds and wildlife plus a little kids’ area for drawing and coloring. It’s next to the bathrooms so definitely take a look. 

Crowders Mountain Visitors Center
Crowders Mountain State Park Visitor Center

The Lake at Crowders Mountain

While there are no boat rentals inside the park, if you have your own paddleboard or kayak, you can paddle around the manmade seven-acre lake at the park. 

While you are allowed to paddle on the lake, swimming is prohibited. The entrance is at the Sparrow Springs Access road. 

Visiting Crowders Mountain State Park 

The park is totally free to visit. We parked at Sparrow Springs Access and Visitors Center. Due to this park being one of the closest for hiking with elevation, it’s very popular. The park opens daily at 8 am and I’d suggest getting there early, especially in the spring and fall, to be sure to get a spot on weekends. There is overflow parking available. 

Dogs are allowed but they must be on a leash. 

Please follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out what you pack in. Unfortunately, we saw some trash along the trail. 

There are bathrooms and a station to fill your water bottle at the Visitors Center so be sure to get what you need done there before heading out on your hike! 

Crowders Mountain State Park
522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain, NC 28086
Crowders Mountain State Park Website

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About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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