Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is small park in Hillsborough that operates as a satellite of Eno River State Park. Although hardly a mountain, at 867 feet above sea level, Occoneechee is the highest point in the Triangle. And hiking the short trails around the park, you may forget that you're in the Piedmont. The Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail makes a full loop around the park in less than 2.5 miles. But there's plenty to see in that short distance. From the parking lot, the trail runs around the mountain and follows the Eno River for a ways before coming to an old quarry, dating from the 19th century. The cliffs above the quarry have an overlook just a bit further up the trail. From the quarry continue on a bit further and follow the Overlook Trail to the overlook. From here you have surprisingly nice views to the north and west. The town of Hillsborough can be seen to the north and the Eno River winding its way through Orange County to the northwest. The views are particularly nice during fall foliage. The Overlook Trail terminates at the Summit Trail. Turning right goes up to the summit. It's not on park property and there's nothing exciting here - no views, just a radio antenna and old fire tower. Turning left, the Summit Trail leads back to the parking area.
120 Old Dogwood St, Hillsborough, NC 27278
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202 Cardinal Dr, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Good for: Families
122 Daniel Boone Street, Hillsborough, North Carolina, 27278, United States
Start at the Orange County Visitors Center, which is located at 150 East King Street in the historic Alexander Dickson House. The Visitors Center is open seven days a week: Mon.-Sat., 10am-4pm, and Sun., 1-4pm. It offers free literature and tour information on historic Hillsborough and central and northern Orange County, and is operated by the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough... In 1767, Orange County was the most populated county in the North Carolina colony, with an area so large that the northern boundary extended to the Virginia line. The boundaries for Hillsborough were laid out in 1754, where the Great Indian Trading Path crossed the Eno River. Known as the 'capital of the back country,' Hillsborough was the scene of many dramatic events taking place prior to the Revolutionary War. It is the site of the trial and hanging of the Regulators, who staged an uprising to protest taxes, corrupt officials and non-representation. It is also the site of the momentous Constitutional Convention of 1788 where delegates demanded a Bill of Rights before they would ratify the U.S. Constitution. Equally important is Hillsborough's place in Civil War history. The town's visitor center once served as the headquarters for General Johnston, who negotiated his surrender to General Sherman, leading to the end of the Civil War... Today, Hillsborough encompasses residential neighborhoods, the large historic district and a considerable number of retail and business areas that emphasize antiques and craft shopping.
Fondest memory: Hillsborough is often called 'a museum without walls'. Its historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it has more than 100 late 18th and early 19th century structures still standing. The only complete set of Colonial weights and measures in the U.S. can also be found at the Orange County Historical Museum. The Old Orange County Courthouse, built in 1844, has been cited by the Library of Congress as one of the finest examples of Greek-Revival architecture in the United States. And just outside of town is the beautiful Ayr Mount (c. 1815), one of the finest Federal Era plantation houses in America (meticulously restored by Richard Jenrette).
The rolling hills remind me of the Texas hill country, Daniel Boone Centre, The Colonial Inn, The house tour of pre/post revolutionary war period, Bennet Place, the surrender of the last Confederate Army.
Fondest memory: The peacefull countryside, the barbecue, Pig Day,
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