Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Orange County, North Carolina. It is within Occoneechee Mountain Natural Area. It is 2.3 miles long and begins at 652 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,327 feet. Near the trailhead there are parking and restrooms. Brown Elfin Knob (elevation 768 feet) can be seen along the trail. There are also benches along the trail.
Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, at only 190 acres, is one of the smallest units in the North Carolina State Parks system. Its rewards, however, are immeasurable for the natural beauty offered amid one of the state’s biggest urban areas—the Triangle region of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill."
--Karen Chavez, Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books).
"This hike takes place at one of the most significant plant and animal communities in the greater Triangle. The trek circles Occoneechee Mountain, first exploring its vast oak stands on the south slope. Next, visit the Eno River and its aquatic splendor. Make a side trip to a quarry then ascend the north slope to a vista. Pass by rare butterfly habitat before descending past fishing ponds and returning to the trailhead."
--Johnny Molloy , Best Hikes Near Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill (Falcon Guides).
"Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area may be small at 124 acres, but it also may be the most biologically diverse 124 acres in the Piedmont. You’ll come to appreciate this fact, traveling through all five of the mountain’s distinct eco zones on the 1.76-mile Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail."
--Joe Miller, 100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books).
"The 190-acre Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is 10 miles northwest of Durham and offers more than 4 miles of hiking trails. The main trail in the park is the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail. This route goes around the base of the mountain and passes the spur Summit Trail, which leads to the summit of Occoneechee Mountain, the highest point in Orange County and the site of one of the most important natural areas in the Triangle. This spur leaves the steep climb to the summit as an option, but it is highly recommended and offers spectacular views of the surrounding rolling landscape."
--Joshua Kinser, Five-Star Trails: Raleigh & Durham (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This rugged loop trail takes you to all four corners of Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area. The trail begins with a scenic hike winding up and down the mountain, with views of the surrounding forests and pyrophyllite mine. Lovely groves of rhododendron and mountain laurel make this one of the most unique hikes in the area."
--Peter Reylek and Lauren Reylek, Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham (Falcon Guides).
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