Morrow Mountain State Park Abelmarle NC

Morrow Mountain Sunrise

My introduction to the Uwharries

         Although not the tallest peak of the Uwharrie at 935 feet, Morrow Mountain is the crown jewel of the area. It affords some of the best views and it contains a pre-historic Indian quarry where Rhyolite was obtained. This stone was used and widely traded for use in the making of tools and arrowheads. A trip around the summit of Morrow Mountain will still unveil this unique stone as the face of the mountain is covered in it. Although somewhat tempered for the masses, the hiking on Fall Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain and Hattaway Mountain as well as Morrow Mountain is superb. Warning! Whoever laid out the trails in these mountains didn’t believe in switchbacks so be prepared for some strenuous uphill treks. Spending a day hiking at Morrow Mountain was also my introduction to the Uwharrie. I arrived at sunrise. At Morrow Mountain, one can drive to the summit where there is a picnic area and some of the finest views in the range. I started out on the summit trail and passed through the ancient rhyolite quarry on the slope of the mountain. So badly I wanted a piece of this unique stone, but the history of the area, and leaving it for others to enjoy won out. At the halfway point, I left the summit trail for the trek over to Sugarloaf Mountain (858Ft). Sugarloaf Mtn was one of the reasons I came here. I had read that Sugarloaf was one of the places one could find yucca growing naturally in the east. After looping around Sugarloaf Mountain, I headed back to the summit of Morrow Mountain. I took a short lunch, then drove to the trailhead of Hattaway Mountain. This mountain was covered in mountain laurel so it will be worth a return trip in the spring. Hattaway (837ft) was probably the most rugged of the mountains on this day. Once on the trail it is a steep uphill for about one-half mile. The trail then descends abruptly and levels out for a mile across the ridge of Hattaway Mountain. A side trail at the end took me through a stone quarry from the early twentieth century. It was quite a study of the geology of this area. I ended this day with a trip around and over Fall Mountain (741ft). This was the longest trail of the day and the longest in this area of the Uwharrie. Many will argue that the Uwharrie are Monadnocks. Monadnocks are mountains that because of their hard material composition refuse to erode with the surrounding countryside. I disagree for whatever it is worth that the Uwharrie are true monadnocks. Another name for a monadnock is inselberg or “isolated Hill”. The Uwharrie region does not fit this definition. It is a mountain range granted a low one. 

The Mountains are calling and I must go!

John Muir
The Uwharries
View from Hattaway Mountain
Lake Tillery and the Pee Dee River

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