North Carolina county #95

Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area

On my latest two county trip, my first stop was Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area in Alexander County.

You can see where it gets its name.  A strange thing is that you can see the rock face was blown away (the drill holes for dynamite are visible).  I hope they didn’t do that just to allow people to rock climb, which is allowed and encouraged at this park.  There are several designated routes to the top and the whole area, including trails, is very well sign posted with those very smart maps that know where you are when you look at them.

There is a park office with someone from the sheriff’s office inside, and there were a number of cars parked around.  I saw some joggers and hikers during my stay, and the weather was very nice.

I took a one mile loop trail up to the top and back, and a lot of it was on this type of solid rock ground.  Typical fall species were out, including a large number of Carolina Chickadees everywhere I went.  I ran into a flock of Cedar Waxwings again near the top, where I hung out for while.

Cedar Waxwings

The view from the top pretty good, and there was a bench that some Eagle Scout made to relax on.

I saw both Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures circling nearby, and due to the height, I was able to get some pretty decent photos of some of them at eye level.

Black Vultures

I don’t often get good photos of Black Vultures, so I was glad to see these two.  They were coming in a very fast circle down and around me, in an effort to get some lift from a thermal air current.  As usual, there is more photos of them in the ebird checklist.

There wasn’t that much more of note here.  I saw a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Dark-eyed Junco among all the chickadees.  I hung around on the top for a while and headed back down.

I’ve never seen such an accessible area for rock climbing, so if one were into that sort of thing this is a great place to check out.  In general I enjoyed my stay, but it probably doesn’t warrant me driving an hour and a half to get back in the future.

 

ebird checklist

2 thoughts on “Alexander County

  1. Dwayne Martin

    Rocky Face was an old rock quarry, that’s why the rock had been blasted off.

    1. Peter Quadarella

      Ah, that makes sense! Thanks, I love to know the local trivia.

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