Saturday, February 13, 2010
Winter Update 1: Occoneechi Mountain State Natural Area, NC
While passing through central North Carolina (my home state) I wanted to stop and visit one of the newer state natural areas, one that had been designated since I lived there. Occoneechi "Mountain" on the headwaters of the Eno River, once a Saponi settlement and only 867 feet in altitude - but still the highest point along the I-85 corridor and eastward to the coast - is easy to find, tranquil, and beautiful on a cloudy winter afternoon.
Near the summit is a circle of stones, the best spot to view the northward valley when the trees are leafless. I met an interesting woman there. It was so peaceful and the almost-melted snow spotted across the whole monadnock. If you walk up the main summit trail, look to your right just before the old firetower!
Occoneechi Mountain is located just off of I-85 at the S. Churton St. exit, near Hillsborough, NC. For more information....visit http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/ocmo/main.php