North Carolina Passport Challenge: Close to Home

Memories. Looking back on my childhood one thing always stands out, Morrow Mountain State Park. Home to some of my fondest memories growing up, this is where my parents used to always take us camping. I can still close my eyes and remember the smells, the trees surrounding our campsite, the bathhouse and how cold the concrete block walls were even in the heat of summer. All of the adventures that my brother and I had there, I love reminiscing about those times.

Now that I have children of my own, I want to create the same opportunities for them to have adventures of their own that they can look back on and remember. That is why travel is so important to me. I don’t believe we were put here to stand still if that were the case I think we would have roots and be planted in the ground. We were made to explore this beautiful world, and I intend to!

My husband and I woke up one Saturday morning and decided to take a day trip somewhere and let the kids run out some of their pent up energy. We didn’t want to go far so we decided to go to Morrow Mountain because it is only about an hour from our house.

When we got there we went to the Visitors Center to get our passports stamped. We try to do that first thing when we arrive so that we don’t forget and leave without getting it done. The Park Ranger was set up out front with a table full of snake skins and mounted animals. They even had a bear skin.


We got to learn lots of really interesting facts about owls and then he started talking about snakes. He showed us different snake skins and explained to the kids all of the different kinds of snakes we have here in our area and which ones to stay away from.

After a little bit, we went inside and had our passports stamped. We grabbed a park map and decided to walk down to the little exhibit hall they have. It is small, but it’s full of so many really neat exhibits.

The first thing my daughter did when she walked in was go to the gold panning exhibit. They have gold pans laying out that are covered and connected to the table, they are really neat, full of what looks like gold nuggets, you can swish the water around and find them.


We have been here many times and every time we come back to the exhibit hall because it is so cool! There are Indian artifacts, different animals that live in the area and tons of facts about them, rocks and minerals and even a little set up that shows how the early explorers used to work.

There are many other things to do at Morrow Mountain, especially during the summer. My brother and I loved camping there when we were little because they have a huge pool and we would look forward to that every time! You can also rent kayaks and canoes and can use them to go fishing.

Now we were on to my favorite thing about Morrow Mountain State Park. The homestead of Dr. Francis Kron, a Doctor from the 19th century. He was the first physician in the area. In the 1960s his home, greenhouse,  doctors office and infirmary were reconstructed and very closely resemble how they did in 1870.


Down behind the house in the woods, not a very long walk is the Kron family cemetery. They were all buried in a section with a small stone wall surrounding it, though many of the headstones have been destroyed by vandals. That really makes me sad, because I can remember going to the cemetery as a kid and just being in awe of how beautiful the headstones were, I enjoyed being able to see where they lived and were buried.

We hiked quite a bit while we were there. We did the Sugarloaf Trail, which was almost 3 miles round trip that took us up the mountain and then back down the other side of it. It was a pretty tough trail but the views from the top are so breathtaking. We also walked some on the trail alongside the lake, the kids enjoyed stopping and playing in the sand also.


Before you can cross this park off of your list, you have to drive all the way up to the overlook! No matter how many times I have been up there, it still gets me every time! This time we were lucky and made it up there right in time to watch the sunset! We had an awesome time spending the day there and I hope we can go camping at Morrow Mountain State Park this summer!



18 thoughts on “North Carolina Passport Challenge: Close to Home

  1. Would love to explore North Carolina someday. That travel pass makes exploring the state more fun.


  2. I am going to share this my mother as she is planning to take a summer trip to North Caroline and would love to visit Dr. Kron’s house.


  3. I remember back when me and my parents used to do long walks in the country and nearby attractions. It was fun that staying at home watching tv.


  4. What a cool way to spend a weekend with kids! 🙂 How far along are you with your passport challenge? 🙂


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