Hiking Project Logo

This is a great hike that's good for families or for keeping in shape for bigger hikes.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key





Point to Point

1,606' 489 m


847' 258 m


813' 248 m


830' 253 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Family Friendly It's challenging but not too difficult for sturdy little hikers, but let them rest often and keep them close to you near the top.


Crowders Mountain State Park is a popular hiking, running, and rock climbing area. Most people head straight for the highest peak, Crowders Mountain itself, but this hike goes to the top of The Pinnacle, a smaller, easier to reach peak with nice views. The last fifty yards to the top are steep, and the warning signs you'll see at the top are correct. People have died there, so be careful and keep children away from ledges. This track follows a way to the very top that shows a view to the south and avoids scrambling over rocks. On the return trip, it follow the Turnback Trail for a change of scenery.

Need to Know

Though relatively short and well-shaded, this is not a hike to forget water on. Summers are steamy hot here, and these hills aren't high enough to get a cooling effect. The steeper sections are off-camber, so watch your step.


Start from the visitors center at the Sparrow Springs Access area. There is plenty of parking, some nice displays at the visitors center, a small lake, and access to backpacking campsites. More information about Crowder Mountain State Park can be found at the park's official website.

Warming up with a level hike from the left side of the visitor's center. You soon come to a T intersection. Going right takes you on the preferred hike to the top of Crowders Mountain, a longer hike. This hike goes left and ascends gently to a rocky ridge. After going over several rocky sections, you come to a small saddle where the Turnback Trail connects. Continuing uphill, the trail steepens, takes a switchback to the left and steepens yet again. This is typically where you see trail runners huffing steadily past, and out-of-shape folks bending over trying to catch their breath.

But the trail steepens yet again! To the left you'll see the Ridgeline Trail that leads to Kings Mountain in South Carolina, but you'll turn right up the steepest part. Not to worry, as you soon reach the end of the official trail. Climb over the rocks to reach the peak, or go left and around for an easier trail up. There are always opportunities to demonstrate stewardship in this area, so its good to bring a plastic bag for trash.

On the way back down, turn right onto the Turnback Trail and descend easily. This passes the picnic area and meets the Fern Trail. Go left when you see a road ahead, and left again at the sign about ferns. You end up at a small meadow beside the visitors center.


Shared By:

Nathan Sprinkle

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 27 votes


  4.1 from 27 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


21 Views Last Month
3,813 Since Feb 12, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Rocky sections require trekking poles... at least when you're carrying a load!
Feb 12, 2016 near Kings M…, NC
Celebrating at the summit of The Pinnacle at Crowder Mountain SP.
Feb 12, 2016 near Kings M…, NC
The sign located at the T-intersection from the visitor center.
Oct 5, 2020 near Kings M…, NC
Perfect summit spot for trail mix
Sep 25, 2016 near Kings M…, NC
Little hikers need trekking poles sometimes, too.
Feb 12, 2016 near Kings M…, NC
Heading to the Parking Lot... Great day!
Jul 9, 2018 near Kings M…, NC



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 7 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Apr 20, 2024
Dirk Stugg
Jun 19, 2022
Elliott P
Jan 5, 2022
Meara Gill
May 9, 2021
Cody Collins
Apr 4, 2021
Helene Gaglioti
Mar 29, 2021
Charlie Beals
Great views. Pretty easy trail to hike, some fun scrambling if you want at the very top, but otherwise tame. Would love to try and run it. 4mi — 2h 20m
Dec 29, 2020
John Petersen
1h 37m
May 24, 2020
Michelle Jones

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started