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During a trip to check out Halifax County, we stopped at Medoc Mountain State Park for some outdoor time. And we walked around its collection of trails, we quickly fell in love with it!
Located on almost 3,900 acres near Hollister, this place is perfect for anyone seeking isolation among the trees and water. There’s also plenty of open space and tables for picnics.
However, the one thing we didn’t realize before visiting is that Medoc Mountain has quite a few programs in place for those seeking a place to hike with kids.
Medoc Mountain State Park
For this post about Medoc Mountain, we’ll include background info before getting into all the things to do (trails, camping, etc.).
The park sits near the Fall Line that separates Eastern and Central North Carolina. And you might be wondering why this place is named Medoc Mountain, considering there are no major elevation changes here. While this was once a mountain range, the 325 foot peak is actually all that remains after volcanic activity and erosion over millions of years.
The “mountain” gets its name from a well known grape farmer, Sidney Weller, who produced wine in the area in the 19th century. His renowned Weller’s Halifax wine and contributions to American viticulture are just part of his claim to fame. Weller named the mountain “Medoc” after a famous region in Bordeaux known for their vineyards.
Today’s Medoc Mountain State Park
All that remains of the formerly French-inspired wine region is the mountain and its name. Weller’s vineyards have disappeared and the site was purchased by North Carolina and formed as a state park in the 1970s.
One mysterious fun fact about Medoc Mountain is that Big Foot supposedly spends his or her days here. Since that mythical figure’s presence in the park is up for debate, I highly doubt you’ll be spotting any footprints that aren’t yours.
Things to Do
Medoc Trail Marathon
Each October, Medoc Mountain State Park holds its annual Medoc Trail Marathon. Utilizing 10 miles of trails in a loop along relatively flat terrain, participants find this marathon to be one of the most beautiful in the state.
Hiking Medoc Mountain Trails
You’ll find 20 designated trails at Medoc Mountain, all of which welcome hikers. A few trails allow mountain bikers and most have been created for horseback riders to join the fun, too.
For this section, we’ll focus on our favorites for hiking and will share trails for MTB and horseback riding afterward. We’ve organized trails in alphabetical order. And for each one, we’ll share the distance and blaze. If it’s a loop, we’ll that information with the distance.
Bluff Loop Trail
3 Mile Loop (Red Circle)
Bluff Loop is one of Medoc Mountain’s longest trails and the longest that we’ll mention in the hiking section. This moderate difficulty trail will take you along Little Fishing Creek (like others do) and to the top of Medoc’s bluffs.
Campground Loop Trail
1 Mile Loop (White Triangle)
The Campground Loop gets its name because it runs through some of the family camping sites at Medoc Mountain. This one mile loop connects with Bluff Loop for those who’d like to extend their walk away from camp.
Dam Site Loop Trail
1 Mile Loop (White Circle)
Dam Site is reachable either via Bear Swamp Trail or the Discovery Loop Trail. It’s a short one mile loop but changes elevation throughout, landing on the “moderate” scale of difficulty.
Discovery Loop Trail
1.25 Mile Loop (Orange Circle)
You’ll reach Discovery Loop Trail via Stream Loop, which we’ll mention in more detail shortly. Discovery Loop runs along Fishing Creek and land-land forest and connects to Summit Loop Trail via a steel bridge.
Fishing Creek Loop Trail (planned changes for 2020)
1.5 Mile Loop (Yellow Square)
Discovery Loop Trail will eventually become part of Fishing Creek Loop Trail, based on information I received after reaching out Medoc Mountain State Park. Keep an eye out for updated maps when visiting.
Summit Loop Trail
3 Mile Loop (Red Circle)
Another one for the “moderate” hiker is Summit Loop Trail. It’ll take along parts of Little Fishing Creek before ascend up the remnants of Medoc Moutnain’s ridge.
We take our little one along on most paths but wanted to share two trails specifically meant for kids at Medoc Mountain State Park.
Habitat Adventure Trail
The Habitat Adventure trail includes education components and hands-on activities for children from toddler to middle-school age. Starting from the Visitors Center, the paved trail has eight stations to learn about animals that live in the park.
Get hands-on and make some woodpecker sounds, climb through a spider web, or peak into the woods for some wildlife, these stations are fun and engaging! Our toddler loved exploring the Habitat Adventure trail and it was a great way to get her engaged with nature.
Stream Loop Trail
0.75 Mile Loop (Blue Circle)
If you’re looking to spend a little more time on the path, then the Kids in Parks Track Trail experience is perfect! Before following the Stream Loop Trail, kids and parents can grab a brochure for a self-guided excursion.
The five different track adventures include the following:
- Animal Athletes
- Birds of the Piedmont
- Nature’s Hide & Seek
- Medoc Mountain: Need for Trees
- Let’s Explore – ecoEXPLORE
The brochures are beautifully crafted and perfect for kids of all ages. You can log onto the Kids in Parks website and create an account which will lead you closer to earning prizes. There are a total of six prizes that kids can earn after they register their adventure which can be a fun way to explore!
More Things to Do Inside Medoc Mountain State Park
One of the recent updates to the trails at Medoc Mountain includes ten-plus miles of mountain biking trails. Here are the three designated trails, their distances, and blazes:
- Bear Swamp Trail (0.75 Miles, Red Triangle)
- Pyrite Loop Trail (5.3 Miles, Red Hexagon)
- Saponi Loop Trail (3.3 Miles, Blue Square)
There are more bridle trails at Medoc Mountain than anything else and the Main Trail (1.5 Miles, Orange Circle) connects quite a few. Here are some of the other bridle trails you can enjoy:
- Moratock Trail (1.75 Mile Loop, Red Circle)
- Pine Loops Trail (3.5 Mile Loop, Blue Circle)
- Silvertown Loop Trail (2 Mile Loop, White Square)
Boating and Fishing
Little Fishing Creek flows through Medoc Mountain State Park and is one of the cleanest streams in the state. Outdoor enthusiasts can bring their own boat and float along the creek.
Anglers also love visiting for a chance at catching some redbreast sunfish, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
There are 34 campground sites available and 12 of those sites have electric hookups. Bring your family for a wonderful weekend (or longer) in the forest at Medoc Mountain State Park!
Ready for a Visit to Medoc Mountain?
A little over an hour away from the Triangle, Medoc Mountain State Park is perfect for a day trip from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Of course, we think you can enjoy even more time here, with all that wide open space and tall tree surroundings. And since our kiddo absolutely loved engaging in the Habitat Adventure Trail, we can see ourselves coming back to explore this Halifax County park for a long time.
Have you ever visited Medoc Mountain? If so, what’s your favorite part? And in case you’ve never visited, what’s the first thing you’d like to do here?
Medoc Mountain Location
Address: 1541 Medoc Mountain Rd, Hollister, NC 27844