Crowder's Trail to Rocktop Trail Loop

HARD 185 reviews

Crowder's Trail to Rocktop Trail Loop is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kings Mountain, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.9 miles
928 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



Hike to the summit of Crowders Mountain and be rewarded with sweeping panoramas. Bring along a pair of binoculars and do some birdwatching or tote a camera and capture the beauty of wildflowers in bloom (taken from Crowder's Mountain pamphlet). Crowder's Mountain is located in Gaston County, NC. While not a very high summit, the views are spectacular, with the ability to see the Charlotte skyline on the horizon. Be prepared for steep inclines, long stairs to the top of the mountain, and rocky trails.

1 month ago

Fun scrambling trail near the city! Tons of lizards and birds on trail to keep you interested too! Great facilities at this park, would definitely go again!

2 months ago

Wow. I was excited about doing this loop, although a bit tentative regarding my ability to take on Rocktop. So glad I did though! I started at the Visitor Center, started on Crowders Trail, and took the Rocktop trail at the fork. My mind was blown when I saw the first rock field I had to climb through, it was a blast! I struggle with ascents due to being out of shape, but if I have to go uphill I’d rather do it by climbing rocks and scrambling to make it more interesting. I took frequent breaks to catch my breath and take pics, but had so much fun navigating the trail. There were plenty of great views along the way as well. I made sure to follow the marked trail (I’m a bit of a purist in that way) but be warned, following the trail as marked takes you along the most difficult path possible, requiring some serious bouldering in a couple places. There are numerous side trails along the way to circumvent many of the tough areas if needed, however. I found the trail to be well marked, though I found about half of the marks to be on rocks rather than trees.
This trail meets up with and follows the Tower Trail eventually, which takes you up a steep gravel road, coming up alongside the towers near the summit. It is not completely obvious where to go from there, especially if a truck is blocking most of the path as was the case today, but the trick is to just follow the side of the towers. The overlook is just past the towers. This is a great area, and there is plenty of room for scrambling and exploring past the overlook. I thought I saw some blue trail markers when exploring up there (beyond the tower/backside trails) but cannot find any mapped trails corresponding to this.
After hanging out at the top, I started back down on the Backside Trail. I didn’t particularly enjoy the stairs, but am glad I did them on the way down. Then I met up with the Crowders Trail and took that back around all the way to the Visitor’s Center. Admittedly after the Rocktop Trail and Overlook, Crowders Trail was nothing spectacular but was a nice walk in the woods. I found the day’s activities catching up with my legs in the last couple of miles and was worn out by the end. I have to say Rocktop has become my favorite trail here!

5 months ago

My husband and I in our 60’s did this sweet Trail! 5 miles of beautiful country! Linwood rd. Access parking- Backside Trail to Rock Top Trail looped - did the scenic view( which is a lot of climbing) and the connection loop back was more of a stroll .... sweet!

5 months ago

Easy and mostly flat. This trail connects the two peaks in the park. Almost 3 miles long.

7 months ago

So worth it. Steep. Stairs. Sweaty. Beautiful view.

7 months ago

8 months ago

A bit more strenuous than I anticipated. Overall a great trail!

8 months ago

so far so good

8 months ago

Great hike if your in-around the Charlotte area. Easy enough for the whole family with great views at the top. Happy hiking!

9 months ago

great hike. It has great oppertunity to teach kids to rockclimb. I also brought my four-legged companion and he had no difficulty manuevering the rocks. The steep incline will tire little ones easily.

10 months ago

The actual "lookout" was nothing great, but I found another one right before the rock top trail that was awesome. The rocktop portion of the trail was a lot more than I was expecting, which was awesome. Had to put my hiking pole away to climb through it. The pinnacle trail was definitely better, but still a great hike.

11 months ago

Went on trail late morning Friday. 90 degrees today but not so bad in the woods under the trees. I started this trail originally at the visitor center and hiked to the back trail of the Pinnacle. Instead of continuing on Rocktop Trail, I doubled back and took the Linwood area access road, coming back around the front way to the Overlook. I initially didn't see the trail past the backside trail, so people ... when you get to the top of that long gravel road (2.5 miles in from VC), look to your left and trace the right side of those cell towers. After going another 1/2 mile you'll be at the overlook. Nice view, a few folks out today hiking, enjoying the day. This trail is definitely challenging and I'd agree and say that it is hard. Two miles in, you feel like you're a rock climber. I never seen so many rocks, boulders, rock formations in my life. Trail is well marked and heavily traveled but pay attention, you could easily end up on Crowders trail coming back. I ended up doing a little over 8 miles in about (4) hours with a couple of 5 min breaks. Enough inclines throughout the trail to keep your heart pumping. Wear your boots to avoid twisting your ankle on this rocky terrain. Do this trail when you want a bit of a challenge. Will be back soon ... "Go Outside And Play!"

11 months ago

rocky and toppy, mmmmm my favorite flavor

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pretty good for a 30-45 min drive outside of charlotte. Once at the top you can see the CLT skyline one one side and the foothills of the Appalachian on the other. Not a very hard hike but can be a challenge for newcomers. Great hike though!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trail is tough but well maintained. Can get crowded fast on pretty days. park staff is very friendly. Rock Top trail has some very challenging boulder stables. not for inexperienced hikers.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Great hike. Had some fun rocky areas along the way. The view at the top was beautiful but slightly crowded. Went on a weekend afternoon. Would recommend and hike again.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Best hiking experience!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

This full loop was super boring. The trail's not that hard especially if you started off doing this one first. I started this one when I finished Pinnacle on the same hike. Also, barely good views.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Love this trail. Starts off moderate but can be almost difficult once you get to the gravel hill and stairs. Push through! You can do it! The view at the top is great!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It was so fun and so beautiful I will definitely be going again was alittle hard but so happy I done it

Monday, January 02, 2017

Great views in the wintertime! Love doing this trail, connecting to the Tower, then Backside and finally back on Crowders trail leading to the State Park office.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It was great! The view was so worth it, it's a great family hiking trail:)

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

great trails, rocktop is more technical. would recommend starting with rocktop and finishing the loop on crowders

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Crowder Mountain has a trail for everyone really.
I know the review is for RockTop Loop, but really we hit 3 trails, plus the service road (hardest part), and it was almost 9miles for the day.
We loved it, and honestly we will have to come back for more!
Parking can be an issue - it can fill up fast.
Less than an hour from Charlotte makes it a great location.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nice clean trail with awesome views that are worth the challenge to get to the top!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Whew, glad we did it

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Great trail ends with a great view!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Rock top trail is tiresome but definitely worth it! Would love to go back n try other trails n relax for a longer time at the top.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

I enjoy this hike because it is the closest the city so I can hit it even if I'm limited on time. The Rocktop trail sees far less traffic than Crowders or the Pinnacle. There are some actually rocks that you've got to scale using your hands and so it's not as an attractive an option for some. I generally go up Rocktop and down Crowders. Crowders is a straight shot well maintained trail is much easier on the knees that going down Rocktop.

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