ElevationAscent: 813' 248 m
Descent: -830' -253 m
High: 1,606' 489 m
Low: 847' 258 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)
Popular runs nearby
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15.6 mi 25.1 km • Loop • 1,148 ft Ascent 350 m Ascent
Kings Mountain Battlefield Loop
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McDowell Park Loop A
3.2 mi 5.1 km • Loop • 334 ft Ascent 101.88 m Ascent
Stumpy Pond Half Marathon
13.8 mi 22.2 km • Loop • 1,562 ft Ascent 476.14 m Ascent
South Mountains 50k
31.3 mi 50.4 km • Point to Point • 5,978 ft Ascent 1822.22 m Ascent
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“This is a great run that's good for families or for keeping in shape for bigger runs.”— Nathan Sprinkle
Warming up with a level run from the left side of the visitor's center. You soon come to a T intersection. Going right takes you on the preferred run to the top of Crowders Mountain, a longer run. This run goes left and ascends gently to a rocky ridge. After going over several rocky sections, you come to a small saddle where the Turnback Trail connects. Continuing uphill, the trail steepens, takes a switchback to the left and steepens yet again. This is typically where you see trail runners huffing steadily past, and out-of-shape folks bending over trying to catch their breath.
But the trail steepens yet again! To the left you'll see the Ridgeline Trail that leads to Kings Mountain in South Carolina, but you'll turn right up the steepest part. Not to worry, as you soon reach the end of the official trail. Climb over the rocks to reach the peak, or go left and around for an easier trail up. There are always opportunities to demonstrate stewardship in this area, so its good to bring a plastic bag for trash.
On the way back down, turn right onto the Turnback Trail and descend easily. This passes the picnic area and meets the Fern Trail. Go left when you see a road ahead, and left again at the sign about ferns. You end up at a small meadow beside the visitors center.
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Land Manager: North Carolina State Parks