So, as soon as we left the museum we headed out for the park with our trusty GPS device and soon found it after about a ten-mile drive.
Dunn's Mountain is, in fact, a small pluton. Once used as a granite quarry, it's now a county park and also contains a fair amount of acreage protected by a local environmental group. There is a parking area at the base of the Dunn's Mountain (a hill of solid rock about 200 feet tall), a road to the top, a trail to the summit, and a visitor's center on the top.
These folk are serious about protecting whatever it is that's ecologically unique about Dunn's Mountain. The entire park is surrounded by chain link fence. The road to the summit is a narrow gravel way lined on either side by chain link fence. And the trail to the top is also lined or either side by the same chain link fence. There are signs everywhere admonishing you to stay on the trails and not to cross or climb the fence. So you can't really explore the park in any way.
All you can do it go to the top and see the summit and the visitor's center and overlooks. Which is nice enough, but frustrating if, like me, you have an adventurous streak. Near the top of the mountain are a series of natural granite obelisks begging to be explored. But you can't get to them because of the fencing. Oh, well. At least the place is protected.
If you are curious about geology and are looking for a peaceful place to spend a couple of hours, Dunn's Mountain Park is pretty cool.
|Overlook near the top of the old quarry.|
|The very nice visitor's center on the very summit.|
|Off in the distance you can see the outline of the Uwharrie Mountains, to which this hill is probably geologically connected.|
|Flooded section of the most recent quarry activity (before the park was formed).|
|99% of the park is off limits to exploration.|
|Man, I would have loved to explore the big granite outcrops up there.|
|Of course with access to the rocks, the locals would probably take the opportunity to spray them with graffiti.|
|The nice people of the county have provided you with FREE shuttle rides to and from the top of Dunn's Mountain if you don't want to use the walking trail. Very cool!|