Sunday, March 27, 2011

Boulders Access South to the State Line

It was a damp day that felt more like Winter then Spring so we chose a short hike for today.  We headed over to the Boulders Access area in Crowder Mountain State Park.  This area opened in April of 2009 and is reached from exit 5 on I85.  You take Old Dixon Road south and turn left on Bethlehem Road.  Do not park where the trail crosses the road but take a right just beyond this point following the Crowder Mountain State Park signs.  Before we began hiking we signed in where the trail passes through the building.  They ask you to sign in so they know where you were headed if you don't return to your vehicle by closing time.

The paved walkway turns to a dirt trail behind the building and the trail winds around and down off the hill.  This is the Boulder Access Trail and intersects the Ridge Line Trail in .23 miles.  You circle the boulders on the top of the hill but do not climb up to them.  The main boulders area that this trail head is named for are about a mile north on the trail but today we will head south.  As we approached the intersection we could see where hikers have cut straight down instead of following the main trail.  These shortcuts lead to erosion and damage the area.  If you are out for a walk in the woods why would you need to take a shortcut anyway?

A sign at the intersection tells us it is .52 miles to the state line.  We turned left and headed south toward South Carolina.  The trail is wide enough to walk side by side and is a moderate walk in the woods winding around the sides of hills with short uphill sections followed by downhills.  Spring is just beginning to show itself in these woods with a few flowers and leaves showing.  In places there are colorful broken rocks in the trail but it is is mostly smooth.  We heard crows as usual and were scolded by a squirrel but did not see any larger wildlife.  At other times we have seen deer and turkeys in this park.

At the state line there is a cleared  area for a gas pipeline. Across the clearing a sign tells about the mistake made by the surveyors.  The line was incorrectly placed in 1735 and not corrected until 1772.  I wonder how many people changed their state of residence without moving.  The trail continues south from here crossing another clearing for a pipeline and joining a fire road.  We stopped at the second clearing today but have hiked further in the past.  The trail follows the borderline between Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park in areas.  It is three miles from the state line to the intersection  with the Kings Mountain National Recreation Trail.

If you are looking for great mountain views or waterfalls this in not the trail for you.  If you are looking for a quiet walk in the woods that hasn't been discovered by the crowds then this may be what you are looking for.

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