Just 40-miles west of Charlotte, Crowders Mountain towers 800-feet above heavily forested, rolling hills. From atop the sawtooth towers that form Crowders summit you can see Charlotte’s skyline and across the border into South Carolina.

The Backside Trail is only .8-miles long, but every step is up hill.

Most of the Backside Trail is steep and gravelly. The trail guid classifies the hike as “strenuous.” The last push to the peak consists of 336 wooden steps.

The proximity to Charlotte makes this a popular State Park. We encountered lots of friendly folks and tongue dragging dogs along the trail. Parking in the Linwood Access lot is limited. It opens at 7am and I would suggest getting an early start. We arrived Saturday morning (9-23-17) around 11am and luckily snagged a space that someone just left.

Technical climbers scale the sheer cliffs that form the pinnacles’ towers on the east side. The rocks are jagged, uneven and full of folks snapping selfies and gawking at the scenery on the top.

The rewards for making the uphill trek were sweeping views in all directions.

Karen takes a well deserved break atop the towers.

I admired the tenacity of this tree sprouting from the rocks.

We saved the 1.8-mile Tower Trail that descends along the west face of the rocky pinnacles for another day and took the stairs back to the truck.

A “strenuous” hike, resulting in fantastic panoramas is a fine source of accomplishment.

“It’s not just the length of the trail or height scaled that determines the quality of the quest.” Jeff Lyon



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