Mayo River State Park: Mayo Mountain Ridge Trail

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Written by

Joe Miller

Destination Distance From Downtown

24.4 miles


3 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

1 to 1.5 hours


Think Mayo River and you think paddling, whitewater paddling. When the river's up, the 18-mile-long (in North Carolina) Mayo boasts some of the Piedmont's most challenging rapids; Sections 1 and 3 both have some Class III water, according to Paul Ferguson's "Paddling Eastern North Carolina." Trail Running doesn't immediately come to mind because of a lack of public lands along the Mayo. But that changed in 2010, when the 1,967-acre Mayo River State Park entered the North Carolina State Parks system. And while paddling will be emphasized at this linear park, it does have a 2-mile trail that offers a quiet taste of the Piedmont. The Mayo Mountain Ridge Trail leaves the parking area in no particular hurry and begins climbing in no particular hurry. Not a hard climb; it's barely perceptible, in fact. But it doesn't quit until it's time to start making the mellow return, at about the one-mile mark. It's typical Piedmont hiking, through a maturing hardwood forest. It has less understory than you'll find most other places in the Piedmont, making for nice views and better-than-usual wildlife viewing opportunities. A foot-friendly tread and the gentle countryside make for a hike accessible to folks challenged by most natural surface hikes. A good option for out-of-town guests curious about this part of the country. More info: Mayo River State Park Maps: Downloadable here, available at the park.

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Mayo River State Park: Mayo Mountain Ridge Trail

500 Old Mayo Park Road
Mayodan, NC, 27027
36.436543, -79.947238

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