Most folks in the Charlotte area, when they talk about going to the Mountains, they are generally talking about Asheville or the Boone/Blowing Rock area. They forget there are some beautiful mountains about an hour east of Charlotte just NE of Albemarle.
These are the Uwharrie Mountains geologically older than the Appalachians and they originated as a volcanic range just off the Coast of Africa.Not as tall as the Blue Ridge but still with great vistas, water sports on Lake Tillery, Wldlife and History at the home of Dr. Korn.
Mount Morrow is part of this experience laying to the SW of the main body of the Uwharrie's. Very peaceful in part because the only part of the park with any Cell Phone Reception is a weak 1 to 2 bars at the very top of Mount Morrow. No they can't hear you now.
When you come into the Park, there is nice Museum with the history of the area. The area was settled somewhere between 8000 and 12000 years ago by Native American representing 4 periods. This was a perfect place for the Native American in that the rivers provided a bounty of fish, wild game and a certain type of rock called Rhyolite from the top of the mountains. Native American had quarries there to extract this rock. Rhyolite was the perfect stone to create arrowheads, spear points, projectiles, scrappers and other tools. Items derived from minerals extracted from this site have been found all up and down the East Coast and even into Canada making this an important trading center
Another event occurred a few miles to the west in 1799 when 12 year old Conrad Reed pulled a 17 pound gold nugget out of a creek. For the next 50 years prior to Sutters Mill in California, this part of the country was the center of Gold Mining in the US.
In the early 1800's Dr. Frances Korn built a house on the old Salisbury/Fayetteville Road just up from the Ferry. Prussian Born, trained in Philadelphia and later taught at the University of NC and the first to bring medicine to the Piedmont. His house, office and greenhouse is here as well and a good example of period architecture.
Beautiful rolling land with lush vegetation but they are determined to keep it as natural as possible. High winds knock over a tree, unless it blocks a road or trail or cause a hazard, it stays there. The do practice controlled burns however to try and minimize the amount of flue on the forest floor.
There is a Boat Ramp and place to rent Kayaks and Canoes on Lake Tillery. Good picnic area and a large number of nature trails.
The high lite of the drive is the top of Mount Morrow. Easy drive with ample parking and again good picnic area with restrooms and a number of great views. Color was just beginning to come over the Piedmont a couple of weeks ago and it should be a full peak around the 2nd week in October.
It's a great place often overlooked so not as crowded as some. the State has done a good job over the years in developing this State Park but with budget cuts over the years, some things have begun to slide. At least two of the audio visual exhibits in the museum were down and non functional. At the river, some of the signs and maps were so faded to the point where they weer almost unreadable
Still a great place to collect your thoughts and enjoy a quiet day in nature.
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