South Mountain State Park
North Carolina has so much to offer. From mountains to the sea there is always an adventure to be had. In 2007 my husband made the decision to join the Marine Corps, and with it came moving. My first time out of the mountains was to the desert in 29 Palms California, and man was that an adjustment! I missed my family, I missed the humidity, and I missed the wildlife. When we moved back to NC we were fortunate enough to be located at the beach. We came back to the humidity, but just like my family, the mountains were hours away. It just wasn't home. And here we are, 10 years later, leaving on our own little piece of a mountain. Surrounded by beautiful wildlife, each day we are blessed with loving only a short drive to one of our most favorite parks, South Mountains State Park. We hike, and let our children play in the streams, but mainly its to enjoy the wildlife. When you pull into the park you are greeted with the visitors office. If you have not been before, you will want to stop in and see the displays of the local wildlife. Sit on the bench outside the restrooms and let nature envelop you.
To our family, it doesn't matter how many times we have traveled up and down this road, or how many deer we have seen, we always stop to let the deer cross and bask in the glory of wildlife so close to us. It's an honor to witness their movements! Deer are one of the main animals you will see during your visit, especially if you visit as frequently as we do. But, it's not the only animal you will see.
Summer brings about a lot of outdoor activities, and during the summer months you are sure to spot a snake basking in the warmth of the sunlight. Watch your step, and remember, you are in their home. Reptiles are miraculous creatures, and have such amazing camouflage, but if you observe your surroundings, and never attempt to pick them up (especially if you are unsure of the snake you are seeing) you both will venture off your own ways.
This image is of a worm snake we found off the River Trail. Worm snakes are relatively small snakes, that make themselves at home with their prey under the leaf litter waiting for their next worm or just hiding away from predators.
This rat snake was found just off the Hemlock Nature Trail on July 12th of this year. My daughter, who is a great herper, actually spotted this guy/gal before I did!
While I have found a few snakes at South Mountain, I have found a greater amount of mammals and birds. The park has more to offer than trails and waterfalls (which are absolutely stunning!). While I do enjoy having a hike and a picnic, I also enjoy visiting to relax and wait for mother nature to showcase her beauty.
Keywords: deer, hiking, nature, nc, nc state parks, reptiles, south mountain state park, waterfalls, wildlife, wildlife photography
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