Kings Mountain Recreation Trail (blue) Professional Reviews and Guides
"This is a strenuous but enjoyable full-day hike. The trail starts near Lake Crawford at Kings Mountain State Park and immediately heads for the woods, where the route travels through a hardwood forest on single-track trail and old roadbeds. After traveling along a relatively level grade, the route comes to a clearing that marks the South Carolina/North Carolina state line. There is always something very rewarding about hiking from one state to another, but the journey doesnt end there! Instead, the path continues over increasingly rolling terrain. After crossing the paved Bethlehem Road, the trail travels one more challenging hill to reach Buzzards Roost. Take time to explore the dramatic boulder-laden ridgeline that overlooks the farmland to the northwest, before retracing your steps to Kings Mountain State Park."
--Jennifer Pharr Davis, Best Hikes Near Charlotte (Falcon Guides).
"This trail leads from the scenic, recreation-filled Kings Mountain State Park to the historic and inspiring Kings Mountain National Military Park. The route starts by exploring a hardwood forest and then descends to the beautiful banks of Clarks Creek. The waterway is filled with intriguing rock formations. Lush mountain laurel trees, long strands of dog hobble, and Christmas ferns keep the shoreline looking green and lush throughout the year. When the path leaves the creek, it travels up a short hill and then exits the forest at the Kings Mountain National Military Park Visitor Center, where fascinating historic displays and information plaques tell the story of the pivotal Revolutionary battle of Kings Mountain."
"Walk along the shore of Lake Crawford and through a hardwood forest to a very interesting Living History Farm. The Living History Farm re-creates of what life was like in the 1800s, around the time that the battle on Kings Mountain was fought. There are gardens, chicken coops, blacksmith stations, and cabins to explore. It’s a selfguided tour most of the year. If your imagination is easily captured and you have even an inkling of an interest in history, be prepared to spend more time than you would expect wandering around this excellent farm museum. A large conference center, artfully constructed of stone and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, also sits along the shore of Lake Crawford."
--Joshua Kinser , Five-Star Trails: Charlotte (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This is a fabulous hike for families. It starts at the Lake Crawford Lodge, which was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. From there it travels to the south end of the lake, where a rock-hop beneath the lake dam will help you cross the water outlet while keeping your feet dry. The path then travels slightly uphill through a hardwood forest to reach the Living Farm at Kings Mountain State Park. This reconstructed 1800s farm is an outdoor museum, complete with 200-year-old farming equipment, a small garden, and everyones favoritefarm animals! Take your time to walk around the outer buildings and visit the chickens, cows, and donkeys before retracing your steps back to Lake Crawford."
"Exploring more than 5 miles of the backcountry of Kings Mountain State Park, this trail also ventures into nearby Kings Mountain National Military Park for a short distance. The trail is mostly a challenge in distance. It traverses a few demanding hills, but most of the path has hardly noticeable elevation. The trail off ers a long and pleasant hike through a quiet and mature forest while crossing over several gentle streams and through two primitive group camps. Note: Stop at the visitor center to buy a decent trail map for $1. (The park off ers free maps online and at the kiosks, but they’re almost completely useless for hiking.)"
"A two-day hike through shaded hardwood forest over ridges, down rocky ravines and across numerous brooks and streams. This hike runs through the southern portion of the Kings Mountain Range, a small series of granite outcroppings on the border between South Carolina and North Carolina. The hike goes through both Kings Mountain State Park and the adjacent Kings Mountain National Military Park, site of an important battle of the Revolutionary War. Here, in October 1780, a rag-tag force of rugged frontiersmen overwhelmed militia forces loyal to the British Crown, turning the tide of the war in the South in favor of the revolutionaries."
--John Clark & John Dantzler, Hiking South Carolina (Falcon Guides).
"Kings Mountain State Park rests in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains next to the Kings Mountain National Military Park, a prominent Revolutionary War battle site in the late 1700s. A Living History Farm is located at the state park, which allows visitors to relive the lifestyles of the early pioneers through a replica of a nineteenth-century South Carolina yeoman farm. The farm includes a barn, cotton gin, and blacksmith/carpenter shop. This easy 1.2-mile loop trail begins at the picnic area in Kings Mountain State Park (not at the national park, like the Battlefield Trail and Browns Mountain hikes)."
--Steve Goodrich & Ashley Goodrich, Best Hikes with Dogs: Georgia & South Carolina (The Mountaineers Books).
Kings Mountain also has 5 and 10 mile equestrian trails. Recommend horses are shod on at least the front hooves.
Very light hiking. Took in the battlefield 1.5 mile loop and walked through the visitor center which includes an auditorium with a 26 min movie and a museum. Great piece of history and some nice scenery.
Carried a group of Boy Scouts here. We watched the movie at the Military Park and did the 1.5 mile paved loop. Then we loaded our packs and headed for the only camp site on the military park (~3.7 mile hike). The trail was in great condition on the military side. Great markings, signs, and maps posted along the way. The camp site is just a small fire ring. The campsite is .2 miles from the State Park line. The camp worked well for us, but not as close to the creek as I had hoped. We stayed the night and broke camp and headed for the State Park. The trails appeared to see much less use on the State Park side although they were very well marked, however no signs or maps. We did about 8.5 miles which was rough on the younger boys the next day. We camped on the trail about .3 miles from the State Park Picnic Shelters. Overall, this was a great trip and excellent trail. Never any question as to where the trail was. I highly recommend this, especially for Boy Scouts.
Before coming back to school, I spent last summer in York, SC, about 10 mi. from Kings Mt. State park. I have hiked this trail almost a dozen times, and I would highly recommend it for any beginning/intermediate hiker who is looking for a solid, sustained day hike to excersize or just enjoy the scenery. The trail is 16 mi., and does not loop back. The hills are easy and perfect for training with a heavy pack. After about the fifth mile the trail becomes unmarked but is still easily visible even in fading daylight. Very well maintained, too. Definitely worth the trip!
trail is very well marked and maintained from visitor ctr. to garner creek campground. We had planned to do the whole loop, but rain and a late start cut it back to an in and out to from the campground. No steep hills to hoof up with a full pack. Beyond garner creek, rangers said trail was in pretty good shape but not marked as well. three small creeks along the way, and one a few hundred yards from camping area to pump water from. All in all, very nice easy backpack. 0.5 mi spur to browns mountain worth while when trees drop their leaves for a better veiw. I recommend this hike.
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