Morrow Mountain State Park
Habitats: monadnock forest, heath bluff, oak-hickory and floodplain forests.
Key Birds: Summer: Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, Black-and-white, Prothonotary, and Hooded Warblers, American Redstart, Eastern Kingbird, Broad-winged Hawk, Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's-widow. Year-round: Bald Eagle, Red-headed Woodpecker.
Best Times to Bird: Spring migration for neotropical migrants, fall and winter for waterfowl.
Description: Morrow Mountain State Park is in the Uwharrie Mountain Range of North Carolina's Piedmont Region. It is comprised of 4,742 acres, and elevations vary from 280′ to 936′ above sea level. The park has over six miles of shoreline along Lake Tillery, an impoundment of the Yadkin/Pee Dee River system.
Directions: Morrow Mountain State Park is six miles east of Albemarle. From Albemarle take NC 24/27 east or NC 740 north. Signs along all the highways will guide you to the park.
Birding Highlights: 170 species of birds have been identified in Morrow Mountain State Park. The park contains over 30 miles of trails that traverse a variety of habitats. All trails offer good birding opportunities. The park office has a map and other park information.
Fall Mountain Trail is a moderate 4-mile trail that covers a variety of habitats and offers excellent birding year round. In summer Prothonotary Warbler, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and Fish Crow may be found along Lake Tillery. Look for Bald Eagle from the shore. Other species along Fall Mountain Trail during the summer include American Redstart, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated and Black-and-white Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, and Wood Thrush. Watch for Louisiana Waterthrush near creek crossings. Year round look for Eastern Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Towhee, and Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers. Great Blue Heron and Belted Kingfisher are easily spotted along the water year round.
Sugarloaf and Hattaway Mountain Trails offer good opportunities to find woodland birds. During summer months look for Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrush, Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos, Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Yellow-throated, Hooded and Black-and-white Warblers. Raptors are often seen from the overlooks. The Mountain Loop Trail, which circles the top of Morrow Mountain, offers opportunities for Eastern Wood-Pewee, Summer and Scarlet Tanagers, and Hooded Warbler during the summer.
General Information: The park is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. The park always opens at 8:00 a.m. but closing times vary seasonally. The park has restroom and picnic facilities. Camping, hiking, or backpacking opportunities are available throughout the year. Canoe and rowboat rentals are available daily during the summer and on weekends during the spring and fall. Motels and restaurants are available in the town of Albemarle. Checklists and maps are available at the park office.
DeLorme map grid: page 59, C5
North Carolina Travel Map grid: G3
For more information: Morrow Mountain State Park, (704) 982-4402; http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momo/main.php