“Outdoors & Recreation in Hillsborough, NC”
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is a North Carolina state park in Orange County, North Carolina in the United States. Located adjacent to the town of Hillsborough, it covers 190acre and includes Occoneechee Mountain, the highest point (867 ft) in Orange County and a settlement of the Occaneechi tribe.HistoryRising more than 350ft from the Eno River, the Occoneechee Mountain summit is the highest point in Orange County.Researchers believe that the area's habitat has remained relatively unchanged since the last Ice Age due to the presence of the brown elfin, a rare butterfly, and several unique plant species. The brown elfin is typically found in mountainous and northern areas, and the nearest brown elfin population to Occoneechee is more than 100mi west. When the Piedmont's habitat underwent enormous transformations after the Ice Age, the area became unable to support the brown elfin and other species more accustomed to cooler environments. Brown elfins, believed to have once populated the Piedmont, were restricted to the state's mountains. However, the brown elfin butterflies at Occoneechee Mountain remained.The land the state natural area now sits on was originally settled by the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, who traveled to the mountain from the west. In the colonial period, European immigrants settled the area. Until 1987, a mill village occupied a section of the natural area. The NC Division of Parks and Recreation first purchased land at Occoneechee Mountain in December 1997. Since then, the natural area has grown to nearly 124 acres.
Nice little hike, the views were decent when you reach the peak. If you have time, check it out. If not, you're not missing much.
This was an excellent hike. Depending on which trail you pick, you can take a longer or shorter hike. We started following the red trail, saw all 3 rock formations, then the Outlook area. The Outlook was beautiful! A couple was having a picnic there, so we went back to the parking area that had more picnic tables. Enjoyable if you like hiking.. my husband wasn't too impressed just because he was TIRED! By the end of it, the kids and I were too, but it was worth it!
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Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
- Mon: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Tue: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
- Fri, Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sun: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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