No matter the time of year, Crowders Mountain State Park is a sight to behold. With stunning pastures and towering cliffs, the diversity of this park makes for a truly unforgettable adventure. Hike the trails, camp out, and explore all of the exciting surrounding attractions. Here are the best things to do in and around the park.
Crowders Mountain State Park sprawls across more than 5,000 acres. The park will envelope you in miles of gorgeous forests and stunning mountain views. Whether you’re looking for an invigorating hike or a night under the stars, there’s plenty to do in this beautiful park.
Begin your adventure at the visitor center and fill up all water bottles before your nature trip. Let the Pinnacle Trail take you approximately three miles through a rocky, natural trail that features gorgeous wildflowers, opportunities to spot wildlife, and breathtaking views that make this strenuous hike well-worth that bit of extra effort. The most difficult leg of your journey will be the last piece of the hike with the steeper climb, a rise in elevation, and rockier terrain. Named one of the best views of the countryside, the climb is beyond worth the picture-perfect view.
Rough it out for the night on one of the several family and group campsites just off the trail. Open year round to eager campers, the campsites have accessible restrooms, lockers of firewood for $5 per locker, and water spigots. The family camp is just off the Pinnacle Trail by taking the Family Camp Trail. To access the Group Camp, follow the Family Camp Trail and veer off and follow the Group Camp Trail. The campsites are just off the park office and tucked in the beautiful state park, making each area private for your stay.
The Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia is a great educational stop all ages can enjoy. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., explore indoor and outdoor exhibits. Permanent indoor exhibits are the Hall of North Carolina Natural History, Hall of North American Habitats, and the Hall of North American Wildlife. The outdoor exhibits include the Nature Trail, Memorial Wildlife Garden, Catawba Indian Village, Stone Age Heritage Site and the 18th Century Backcountry Farm. The exhibits include their own unique displays for visitors to enjoy information of both history and science.
The Rankin Lake Park is a great destination of Gastonia that provides guests with picnic shelters, a disc golf course, courts to play horseshoe, a trail, and 80 acres of lake that have two fishing piers, and a lake office to help visitors rent boats such as canoes, kayaks, and pedal boat. This neatly-kept park on the lake is great for fishing, boating or just to enjoy a gorgeous view of the water.
The final stop of the area around Crowders Mountain State Park that is a must-see is the Kings Mountain Little Theatre. Remodeled in years 2011 and 2012, watch history come to life through the amazing performances put on through the incredible acting, costumes, and more.