Ascent of Morrow Mountain on 2017-03-11

Climber: Zachary Robbins

Date:Saturday, March 11, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Morrow Mountain
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:900 ft / 274 m

Ascent Trip Report

Morrow Mountain State Park is an appealing mountainous destination centrally located between Charlotte, the Triad, and the Triangle. The park is small, and has high visitation since it is so close to Charlotte. Peakbaggers will obviously hike here to bag Morrow Mt, a COHP. But if you drive here you might as well do a hike. This oddly shaped T-hike with two loops is a good leg-stretcher without being too hard or long. You should also shorten the hike by ~1 mile by starting at the horse trailer parking lot. I started at the park entrance gate, and there's nothing on that half-mile stretch worth adding the extra mile total unless you want more exercise. That would make this hike 6.2 miles instead of 7.3 miles.

The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is a nice, pleasant climb up the rocky Sugarloaf Mt. I did this while the leaves were down, and you get good views through the trees of the surrounding area. Morrow Mt is a pointy, round summit due southwest. You can also see the river and lakes system cutting through the middle of the Uwharrie Mountains from the summit. This is the 2nd highest peak in the park. At only 858 feet it is small, but 300-400 feet above the water so you get a mountainous aura.

The initial descent is fun with more views through the trees, towards the bottom it gets steep before it meets the Morrow Mountain Trail. This medium-length trail cuts through the middle of the park and is your go-to trail for the summit climb. At first it meanders through forest for 1.5 miles passing by a few trail intersections. Soon after the Bridle Short Loop Trail you'll begin by far the toughest climb of the hike. The trail goes straight up 400 feet in 0.4-mile, a gradient that rivals any difficult mountain trail. The trail ends at the Mountain Loop Trail, which leads directly to the parking lot and loops around the summit. I went left looping below the road. This section has fantastic open views of Lake Tillery to the south.

You'll reach the summit which is lined with parking on one side, and a huge picnic area at the rounded, grassy top. This is not a true bald, most of the views seem artificially cleared. There is one open view northeast of the Uwharrie Mtns, and wider views south similar to the loop trail. The summit is covered in dogwood trees, the flower blooms would be magnificent mid-Spring. I had a hint of the blooms on this day. I rejoined the Morrow Mountain Trail and then took the back half of the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, the hike back was unremarkable. This is a nice little hike in a park I typically overlook.

Full hike info and video
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Zachary Robbins
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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