Family hiking on Saturday, Nov. 12

For our next social event, you have two choices!

Option One:  Best for Children age 6 or Younger:  Crowders Mountain State Park – Fur, Fangs and Feathers Fall Festival from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Meet at the Visitor’s Center for nature games and programs, make your own nature art print, build a birdhouse. You can buy a grilled hot dog lunch or bring your own picnic lunch. There will be arts and crafts, gems, and other items for sale from local vendors.  The Crowders Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue will teach you how to escape from the “Smokehouse,” let you explore their rescue vehicles, and a special vehicle will be on display from the Gastonia Police Department. There will be free ranger-led programs, live music, and live animals from the Carolina Raptor Center and The Schiele Museum of Natural History. New this year is Catawba Indian dancing.

Option Two:  Adults and Families with Older Children Hiking Option – South Mountain State Park

WARNING:  Beware of Incorrect Driving Directions from GPS Units and Internet Maps, they can lead you to a closed gate an hour away from the main gate!  See directions below.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.- meet at the Visitor Center for the “Skulls & Skins” presentation to learn about some of the wildlife that lives on the mountain.

12:00  p.m. – meet at the The Shinny Creek picnic area that is less than a half mile from the Jacob Fork parking area. Four tables and three grills.

After lunch, we will enjoy some hiking and then meet back at 2:00 p.m. for a Ranger led hike along their easier trail, originating near the park office, the Hemlock Nature Trail. This .74-mile loop travels along the Jacob Fork River and through a forest.

Directions: South Mountains State Park is located in Burke County, 20.5 miles south of Morganton. From I-40, turn south on NC 18, travel 11.1 miles and make a right turn onto SR 1913 (Sugarloaf Road). Take SR 1913 to Old NC 18 4.3 miles and turn left. Travel 2.7 miles and make a right turn onto SR 1901 (Ward’s Gap Road). The park is 1.4 miles off SR 1901 on SR 1904 (South Mountains Park Avenue). Travel one mile from the beginning of South Mountain Park Avenue to the South Mountains State Park gate.

Please choose whichever Hiking Option best suits you, your family, and other members of your group.  For either choice, be sure to RSVP to Nancy Brower either via email at or via telephone at (704) 896-5258.

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