WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA LOOKOUT TOWERS
Northwestern North Carolina
Mileages are listed one way; double the distance for round trip length. Various routes are listed, depending on the hiker’s desire as to length of trip. Many can be incorporated into loops or shuttle hikes. Any of the routes are acceptable to meet the Challenge requirement. For some towers, other routes are possible but must meet mileage requirements. Check with the Challenge Committee to confirm other routes in question.
Flat Top Mountain
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Flat Top Mountain
The highest point on the former estate of denim king and textile tycoon Moses H. Cone and his wife Bertha, Flat Top Mountain first hosted a 1900 built wooden lookout tower that served as an observatory for Cone and guests to his elaborate Flat Top Manor. Following the death of the Cones, their estate was given to the National Park Service who removed the wooden tower and replaced it in 1954 with a 40 ft. modified steel lookout tower for visitor use to the park now incorporated into the Blue Ridge Parkway. Reach this observation tower via a 3.5 mi. carriage trail that begins at the steps of the Cone?s impressive colonial revival mountain mansion and incorporates a piece of the North Carolina Mountains-To-Sea Trail.
Flat Top Tower Trail (2.7)
Rendezvous Mountain received its name for its use as a meeting point for Colonel Benjamin while summoning the local militia to organize against the threat of invading British forces. Above 350 Patriot militia organized on the summit and marched south to join the Overmountain Men who later took part in the victorious Battle of Kings Mountain. The lookout, a 60 ft. steel structure built by the nearby Camp James CCC camp in 1936, is accompanied by a CCC cabin adjacent to the tower. Both are incorporated into the North Carolina Forest Service Rendezvous Mountain Education State Forest, an interpretive park designed to educate visitors about the importance of forest conservation and management in the past, present, and future.
Mountain Ridge Trail (3.5)
The highest point in Stokes County and the Sauratown Mountain range, Moores Knob is crowned with a former stone lookout tower that features awe-inspiring views of the Winston-Salem skyline, Virginia, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Use for fire detection for only a few years, hurricane damage caused its decommissioning and eventual conversion to a observation tower . The lookout was preceded by a steel fire tower built by the CCC in the 1930s later destroyed by fire. Located in Hanging Rock State Park, one of NCs most popular, the lookout is just one feature in the park that features hiking trails to a variety of fascinating caves, waterfalls, cliffs, and rock formations.
Moores Knob Trail (1.9)
Moores Wall Loop Trail (4.5)
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