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Reedy Creek & Crowders Mountain

posted Jan 21, 2012, 8:24 PM by Justin P
Today, we did two more hikes from the 100 Classic Hikes in NC.  We left from Cary just after 7 and headed towards Charlotte, for our first stop at Reedy Creek Park and Nature Preserve.  This one is actually half of hike #29.  It rained most of the way down, but was just drizzling for our hike.  We parked at the Nature Center and hiked along the Umbrella Tree Trail.  We missed the turn off and completed the loop back to the nature center and tried again.  This time, we took the turn onto the South Fork Trail and headed a ways before crossing a bridge and turning right on the Sierra Loop Trail.  We followed this trail around to the Sassafras Trail and headed to the picnic shelters for a quick lunch.  Then we headed down the path between the Kingfisher and Dragonfly Ponds to the Dragonfly Pond Trail back to the Nature Center.  Then off to our next destination.

It started raining again on the way to Crowders Mountain, about a half-hour past Charlotte.  By the time, we got to the park, though, the rain had lightened.  King's Pinnacle was visible although partially covered by clouds.  We parked at the Visitor Center, donned our rain gear and headed down the Crowders/Pinnacle Trail.  At the split, we turned right to stay on Crowders Trail, down a ways to the street crossing at Sparrow Springs Road.  Across the road we took the left trail to continue on Crowders Trail, which follows along the base of the mountain.  At the end, we turned right onto Backside Trail and started making our ascent up the mountain, first up a gravel road then many stairs.  By the time we made it to the top, the rain had died down and we had a nice view over the surrounding landscape - way too cloudy to see the Charlotte skyline, but we were above the clouds and could see bits and pieces of the surrounding land through the breaking clouds.  We continued to the summit with the radio tower then took Rocktop Trail heading back.  There were many interesting rock formations along the trail, including some that made for a challenging climb, especially being wet.  At the end of the trail, there was a steep descent back to the road and across back to the Visitor Center.  This was hike #27 in the book.  Despite the rain, it was a fun day and I look forward to the next in the series next month.
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