Dogs No Dogs
Fall Colors · Historical Significance · Wildflowers
This hike is short enough that kids can definitely handle the full loop. Engaging interpretive signs could be used to facilitate a history lesson. Also, the paved surface works well for strollers.
Park access is free, both for entry and parking.
At 1.6 miles, this loop is fairly short, but it takes you to the summit of Kings Mountain (which, in reality, is more of a hill), but the elevation gain is noticeable. The entire route is lined with signs, monuments, and historic sites that make for a very educational outing. The entire loop is tree-covered, which means it's a great shaded option for the summer, or a good place to see spring flowers and fall colors. As the only way to actually see the actual battlefield of the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Battlefield Loop is a must-do when visiting Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Park in the large pull-out lot in front of the Kings Mountain Visitors Center. For the trail's full context, check out the various exhibits within the visitors center, watch the informational video, and/or join a guided tour. From the visitors center, head north to the trail, and then follow the loop in either direction. Going clockwise might offer a bit more of a warmup as the trail ascends Kings Mountain after meandering through the forest for a short while.
Various monuments are located directly adjacent to the path or a short distance into the forest, accessed via spur trails. Installed throughout the past two centuries (the oldest one dates back to 1815) the monuments commemorate a variety of people, gravesites, and moments from the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Revolutionary War. Informational signs accompany many of them, detailing their context of the battle, the war as a whole, or in the years following the Revolutionary War's conclusion. If you're hiking and taking time to read all the interpretive materials, plan for a 1 to 1.5 hour outing.
History & Background
The Battle of Kings Mountain occurred on October 7, 1780, and is commonly cited as a key turning point in the Revolutionary War. The route is lined with informational signs about the area, the Battle of Kings Mountain, and the Revolutionary War. Rangers usually lead guided tours on the weekends, but at unspecified times—check at the visitors center for more information.
If you can't make a guided tour, you can always go by the visitors center on the way to the trail and watch the informational video (it's about 30 minutes in length). Or, there's an audio tour you can access by calling a specified number on a cell phone that corresponds to numbered stops along the way.
Shared By: Amber Scott