On a recent day off, a few friends and I visited Crowder’s Mountain State Park in Gaston County, North Carolina. It’s a 30-minute drive from Charlotte and is located right off I-85 S. There are two main trails to choose from and we did the Tower Trail which took us a little over an hour going at a steady pace. The trail itself has some strenuous points so I suggest this only if you’re up to the challenge.
The day we went it was 80 degrees, in February! The blue skies gave you a view of Uptown Charlotte in the distance. I decided to explore while my party rested at the top, taking in the gorgeous views, and found a way up to the rocky bluff and down into a little, secluded nook. I strongly urge readers to be careful if you decide to do the same. Other hikers brought dogs and small children up over the rocks so I would classify this trail as family friendly. There is also a way up the side to the tower if you’d like to do some rock climbing.
There was a narrow set of stairs which leads to a wonderful downhill trail that was enjoyable to run especially with the breeze. You could also opt to go down the same trail you came up. It definitely brought on an appetite so make sure to pack water and food like trail mix or an energy bar. The restrooms are adjacent to the parking lot and the only trash cans and recycle bins are at the entrance so please dispose of your waste there.
I was surprised to find such a great trail for Gaston County and highly recommend this if you’re looking for a day-hike.