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Medoc Mountain State Park

Bridge over Little Fishing Creek
Medoc Mountain State Park is a state park in Halifax County, southwest of Roanoke Rapids and north of Rocky Mount.  The park is named for Medoc Mountain, which at 325 feet above sea level, is hardly a mountain.  Rather, it is the core of an ancient mountain wore down over the ages by the erosive forces of wind and water.  The erosion-resistant core of biotite granite has routed the creeks of the area around itself.  The park itself lies near the fall line where the harder rocks of the Piedmont meet the softer rocks of the coastal plain.

The area that is Medoc Mountain has been used in agriculture for many years.  In the 19th century, Sidney Weller owned the land and used it for the production of wine grapes.  Weller is credited with developing the American system of winemaking and he named the mountain Medoc after a province in the Bordeaux region of France.  Weller died in 1854 and the land was subdivided and sold, and the vineyards disappeared early in the 20th century.  Later the land was used as a boy scout camp and for timber, and in 1970 citizens proposed creating a state park in the area.

Contact Information:

1541 Medoc State Park Road
Hollister, NC 27844

Phone: (252) 586-6588 and (252) 586-6476

Email: medoc.mountain@ncdenr.gov

GPS Coordinates: 36.2639, -77.8883

Directions:

From I-95, take exit 160 and take NC-561 west nine miles to the park.  From points west, take US-401 to Louisburg and take NC-561 east about 25 miles to the park.  Use the map below to generate customized directions.

Map:

Medoc Mountain State Park

Hiking Trails:

Medoc Mountain has about 10 miles of hiking trails.  In addition, hiking is permitted on the biking trails and equestrian trails.

Air Awareness Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy

The Air Awareness is a short educational trail that starts near the visitor center.  There are educational signs along the trail that discuss topics such as air pollution, acid rain, and climate change.

Bear Swamp Trail:

Length: 0.75 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue Hexagons

The Bear Swamp Trail starts across the street from the visitor center and crosses Bear Swamp Creek on a steel bridge then leads down to the Dam Site Loop Trail.

Bluff Loop Trail:

Length: 3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Blaze: Red Diamonds

The Bluff Loop Trail starts from the parking lot at the picnic area and follows the Little Fishing Creek south along a bluff above the river.  The trail leads to where the creek flows under SR 1002 then loops around through the campground and back to the parking lot.

Dam Site Loop Trail:

Length: 1 mile (loop)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Blaze: White Circles

The Dam Site Loop Trail starts at the footbridge across the Little Fishing Creek where this trail meets with the Summit Loop and Discovery Loop Trails.  The trail loops around near old dam sites and crosses the Spring Branch before meeting with the Summit Loop Trail and then back to the bridge.

Discovery Loop Trail:

Length: 1.25 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Orange Circles

The Discovery Loop Trail intersects the Stream Loop Trail in two places and makes a loop to the Little Fishing Creek footbridge.

Stream Loop Trail:

Length: 0.75 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue Circles

The Stream Loop Trail starts from the parking lot at the picnic area and follows the Little Fishing Creek north.  The trail intersects the Discovery Loop Trail twice before looping around to the open area and back to the picnic area.

Summit Loop Trail:

Length: 3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Moderate
Blaze: Red Circles

The Summit Loop Trail starts at the footbridge across the Little Fishing Creek where this trail meets with the Dam Site Loop and Discovery Loop Trails.  The trail goes up to the summit of Medoc Mountain then loops back around following the Little Fishing Creek back to the bridge.

Biking Trails:

There are about 8 miles of biking trails that can be accessed from Bear Swamp Trail across the street from the visitor center.  The loops are one-directional and signs indicate direction that bikers should travel.  Hikers go in the opposite direction of bikers.

Pyrite Loop Trail:

Length: 5.3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Blaze: Red Hexagons

Pyrite Loop Trail is a 5-mile loop trail that splits off from Saponi Loop Trail.  This is the newest trail in the park and contains technical challenges for mountain bikers.

Saponi Loop Trail:

Length: 3.3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Moderate
Blaze: Orange Hexagons

Saponi Loop Trail is a 3-mile loop trail that splits off from Bear Swamp Trail and also provides access to Pyrite Loop Trail.

Wildlife:

Wildflowers:

Trout lilies are one of the first wildflowers to bloom in spring.  They are named for their mottled leaves that resemble trout.

Blog Entries:

17-Mar-2018: Bike Trails at Medoc Mountain

External Links:

NC State Parks website: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/memo/main.php