By TMoM Team Member Sandy Harper
I am one for jumping at the chance for a day trip adventure to somewhere new! When someone mentioned Rendezvous Mountain, I was instantly intrigued because I never heard of this place.
Rendezvous Mountain is located in Purlear, just north of Wilkesboro. This is about an hour west of Winston-Salem. Originally, Rendezvous Mountain was one of the first state parks until it became a Educational State Forest managed by the N.C. Forest Service. However, thanks to state budget approvals over the last two years, Rendezvous Mountain is now one of the newest NC State Parks.
The mountain has a rich and important rule in North Carolina’s forestry history. Before reaching the top of the mountain, a forestry center greets visitors. Upon entering this small center, visual delights draw your eyes in multiple directions! The history of the mountain draws in all ages to learn more. There are time lines, pictures, topography, child-friendly displays, beaded curtains and tree trunk pillars.
Directly behind the center, you will find a small home that shows how typical forest rangers would live decades ago. The kids enjoyed interacting with the old timey items in this cottage. Just past the home, there are displays of cut, carried and milled timber history.
Once you finish this educational area, you could start walking the almost four miles Amadahy Waterfalls Trail. On the other hand, you can drive a little further to the top of the mountain, where the Main Office is located. The view from the parking lot is breathtaking! On a clear day, you can see for miles. Pilot and Stone Mountain are in view, along with other ranges.
From this parking lot, you also have access to picnic areas and restrooms. The bathrooms were under renovation as of March 2023, but were almost complete. The Port-a-Jon in its place was quite clean and had hand sanitizer. Past the Main Office, you will find the fire tower (no you cannot climb it) and another old cabin. The Main Office hosts education events periodically or when requested (in advance). The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and love sharing the history of the mountain!
Additionally from the parking lot, you can start the Talk Trees Trail. The original “talking trees” had push button recordings that shared interesting information. The park is currently updating this system to QR codes that you can scan with your cellphone. Consequently, you will still get the same information in a more reliable and clear manner.
The Talking Tree Trail is only .7 miles long. Thus, making it manageable for most anyone and gives you time to soak in the surroundings. Additionally, along this trail you will find different signs and name plaques that identify the vegetation and give other forest tidbits. There are multiple trails along the mountainside that range from relatively short to almost four miles long.
Rendezvous Mountain is a gem of a find! The fact that updates are in the works, makes it even more exciting. Also, they are hoping to bring the Kids in Parks activities to the park soon. If you want to go before the rest of the state finds out about this place, I say go now! I would imagine it will become a popular state park destination in the near future.
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