Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough

4.8
#3 of 12 in Things to do in Hillsborough
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is a North Carolina state park in Orange County, North Carolina in the United States. Located adjacent to the town of Hillsborough, it covers 190acre and includes Occoneechee Mountain, the highest point (867 ft) in Orange County and a settlement of the Occaneechi tribe.
Rising more than 350ft from the Eno River, the Occoneechee Mountain summit is the highest point in Orange County.
Researchers believe that the area's habitat has remained relatively unchanged since the last Ice Age due to the presence of the brown elfin, a rare butterfly, and several unique plant species. The brown elfin is typically found in mountainous and northern areas, and the nearest brown elfin population to Occoneechee is more than 100mi west. When the Piedmont's habitat underwent enormous transformations after the Ice Age, the area became unable to support the brown elfin and other species more accustomed to cooler environments. Brown elfins, believed to have once populated the Piedmont, were restricted to the state's mountains. However, the brown elfin butterflies at Occoneechee Mountain remained.
The land the state natural area now sits on was originally settled by the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, who traveled to the mountain from the west. In the colonial period, European immigrants settled the area. Until 1987, a mill village occupied a section of the natural area. The NC Division of Parks and Recreation first purchased land at Occoneechee Mountain in December 1997. Since then, the natural area has grown to nearly 124 acres.
Make Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area part of your personalized Hillsborough itinerary using our Hillsborough online vacation planner .
Source
Create an itinerary including Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
89 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We had a beautiful afternoon walking the trails and enjoying the views. A wonderful place to Enjoying nature and get exercise  more »
  • A hidden area in Hillsborough that provides, nature trails, fishing, camping and exploring the old granite stone quarry.  more »
Google
  • Nice park! Trails are well maintained. The lookout makes an interesting stopping point. This is a great park for a hike with your dog. There are some steep trails, a lookout, some history lessons, and 2 ponds. There is traffic noise from Rt 85 that kind of takes away from the natural setting.
  • Great trails! The quarry overlook was awesome and unexpected. There are a variety of trails to choose from, some are easy while others are considered hard but none were too difficult. Absolutely recommend this park to anyone.

Plan your trip to Hillsborough

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Hillsborough

4.6
Duration: 2​h
4.7
Duration: 2​h
5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 2​h

Side trips from Hillsborough

4.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min
3.5
Duration: 2​h

Hidden gems in Hillsborough

5.0
Duration: 30​min
4.5
Duration: 2​h
4.5
Duration: 2​h
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Nearby attractions in Hillsborough

5.0
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 30​min

Museums in Hillsborough

3.6
Duration: 2​h