Orange County High Point Trip Report

Occoneechee Mtn - west summit (867 ft)

Date: August 30, 2002
Author: Brian Bockhahn

From I-85 just north of the split with I-40, take exit 164 for Hillsborough (or from the east on I-40 take exit 261 north to Hillsborough). About 1/2 mile north of I85, turn left at first stop light onto Mayo Street. Pass the Wal-Mart plaza then turn left at the stop sign onto Orange Grove Road. At 0.6 mile turn right onto Virginia Cates Road before crossing under the interstate and heading up a big hill. Virginia Cates Road dead ends at the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area. Park in the designated parking area, and hike the gravel road to the summit. Maps are in a nearby display case or from the NC state parks web site.

The summit has a fire tower and multi-use cell tower, both of which are fenced in, the actual high point is in between the two, closer to the fire tower fence.

On the hike back down, take the side trip to Brown Elfin Knob (767') named after an uncommon butterfly found only in piedmont monadnocks.

Steep but short hiking loops maybe an hour and half or so for all. I run it twice a week!