Sauratown Mountains

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Sauratown Mountain

The Sauratown Mountains, which are sometimes called "the mountains away from the mountains", are an isolated mountain range located within Stokes and Surry counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina.[1] The vast majority of the range is located in Stokes County, and even though the range occupies only 5% of Stokes County's area, it dominates the county's scenery from almost every direction. The Sauras rise sharply 800 to 1,700 feet (244 to 518 meters) above the surrounding terrain. The Sauratown Mountains were named after the "Sauras", a Native American tribe which lived in the area before European settlers arrived in the early 1700s.[1] The range consists of rugged, heavily forested ridges frequently broken by large quartzite rock cliffs which can be seen for miles. The Sauratown Mountains are known for offering some of the best rock climbing in North Carolina. The highest point in the Sauratown Mountains is Moore's Knob, which rises to 2,579 feet (786 m).

The range is home to Hanging Rock State Park, which was formed in 1936 and contains Moore's Knob and other prominent peaks in the Sauratown Mountains. From 1935 to 1942 the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal agency, built a dam and 12-acre (49,000 m2) lake in the park, as well as hiking and climbing trails and picnic and campground areas.[1]

Uniquely shaped Pilot Mountain is also located in the range.[2][3] Pilot Mountain State Park encompasses the westernmost end of the range.

A hiking and bridle trail, known as the Sauratown Trail, crosses the range and interconnects the two state parks.[1][2][3][4] The Mountains-to-Sea Trail follows the Sauratown Trail, and it passes through both parks.[3][4]

Peaks[edit]

Peak name Elevation Coordinates Protected area County Remarks
Stony Ridge 1,361 feet (415 m) 36°17′36″N 80°30′14″W / 36.29333°N 80.50389°W / 36.29333; -80.50389[5] Pilot Mountain State Park Surry The Corridor Trail is the closest access to the summit, but it does not go to the summit.
Pilot Mountain 2,421 feet (738 m) 36°20′24″N 80°28′27″W / 36.34000°N 80.47417°W / 36.34000; -80.47417[6] Pilot Mountain State Park Surry The mountain's Saura name is Jomeokee. The summit area is off limits to the general public, and it is only physically accessible via rock climbing. The highest point people can get to in the park is the Little Pinnacle, a false summit.
Black Mountain 1,447 feet (441 m) Privately owned Surry The small mountain is north-east of Pilot Mountain, near the county line.
Sauratown Mountain 2,441 feet (744 m) 36°22′28″N 80°22′17″W / 36.37444°N 80.37139°W / 36.37444; -80.37139[7] Privately owned Stokes Due to being a major radio communications site, there is no public access to Sauratown Mountain. A gated, private road ends a short distance from the summit.
Brown Mountain 1,550 feet (470 m) 36°27′14″N 80°20′21″W / 36.45389°N 80.33917°W / 36.45389; -80.33917[8] Privately owned Stokes The mountain is north of Sauratown Mountain.
Ruben Mountain 1,817 feet (554 m) 36°23′13″N 80°18′44″W / 36.38694°N 80.31222°W / 36.38694; -80.31222[9] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes Ruben is in between Sauratown Mountain and Hanging Rock. The Sauratown Loop Trail passes nearby the summit.
Devils Chimney 2,396 feet (730 m) 36°22′52″N 80°17′29″W / 36.38111°N 80.29139°W / 36.38111; -80.29139[10] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes The Cook's Wall Trail ends near the summit.
Cooks Wall Mountain 2,346 feet (715 m) 36°22′44″N 80°17′15″W / 36.37889°N 80.28750°W / 36.37889; -80.28750[11] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes The Cook's Wall Trail passes close by the summit.
Moore's Knob 2,579 feet (786 m) 36°23′53″N 80°16′58″W / 36.39806°N 80.28278°W / 36.39806; -80.28278[12] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes The highest point in the range. The Moore's Wall Loop Trail, a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, provides access to an old fire tower on top of the knob.
Wolf Rock 2,024 feet (617 m) 36°23′11″N 80°16′01″W / 36.38639°N 80.26694°W / 36.38639; -80.26694[13] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes The Wolf Rock Loop Trail crosses over this sub-summit.
Hanging Rock Mountain 2,160 feet (660 m) † Hanging Rock State Park Stokes The Hanging Rock Trail makes the closest approach to the summit, but does not go to it. The trail ends at the Hanging Rock.
Flat Shoals Mountain 1,660 feet (510 m) † 36°22′38″N 80°13′22″W / 36.37722°N 80.22278°W / 36.37722; -80.22278[14] Hanging Rock State Park Stokes There are no park trails on this mountain.
† Approximate elevation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Biggs, Jr., Walter C.; Parnell, James F. (1993) [1989]. "Piedmont". State Parks of North Carolina (2nd ed.). Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair. pp. 142–152. ISBN 0-89587-071-1. 
  2. ^ a b Biggs, Jr., Walter C.; Parnell, James F. (1993) [1989]. "Piedmont". State Parks of North Carolina (2nd ed.). Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair. pp. 176–187. ISBN 0-89587-071-1. "Pilot Mountain, like the rocky escarpments in nearby Hanging Rock State Park, is a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountain range." 
  3. ^ a b c Lynch, Ida Phillips; Pendergraft, Bill (2007). "Piedmont". North Carolina State Parks: A Niche Guide. Design by Leesa Brinkley Graphic Design. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Niche Publishing. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-9794591-0-8. "Like nearby Hanging Rock, this monadnock is a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountain range." 
  4. ^ a b Lynch, Ida Phillips; Pendergraft, Bill (2007). "Piedmont". North Carolina State Parks: A Niche Guide. Design by Leesa Brinkley Graphic Design. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Niche Publishing. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-9794591-0-8. "Hanging Rock State Park is located at the eastern end of the isolated Sauratown Mountain range." 
  5. ^ "Stony Ridge". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  6. ^ "Pilot Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  7. ^ "Sauratown Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  8. ^ "Brown Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  9. ^ "Ruben Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  10. ^ "Devils Chimney". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  11. ^ "Cooks Wall Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  12. ^ "Moores Knob". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  13. ^ "Wolf Rock". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  14. ^ "Flat Shoal Mountain". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-10-02.