OverviewBrowns Mountain is part of the long ridgeline that stretches from just inside South Carolina in the south, to Crowders Mountain in the north. It is the last of the series of peaks along that ridge that can arguably be called a mountain (mostly by the locals). Beyond Browns Mountain to the south and to the east there is only the rolling topography of the Piedmont and the flat coastal plains beyond that.
Unlike the summits farther to the north that culminate in Kings Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain, Browns Mountain has no cliffs, no rocky peaks, and virtually none of the large sections of caprock of its neighbors. Instead of the massive boulder fields and slabs, Browns Mountain is composed of a conglomerate of tough soil, hard packed clay, and quartzite rubble. While not as tenacious as the stuff farther north on the ridge, it has resisted erosion enough to stop this part of the range from wasting away into the Piedmont.
Browns Mountain appears pretty much as the terminus of the lengthy upland known as Kings Mountain. Fortunately, even though urban sprawl presses inexorably on the vicinity from the area of Charlotte and Gastonia, many thousands of acres of this ridge have been preserved and are safe from further development and exploitation. Crowders Mountain State Park in North Carolina has tied up most of Kings Mountain in North Carolina, and Kings Mountain National Military Park and Kings Mountain State Park protect several more thousand acres at the end of the monadnock in South Carolina.
Technically, of course, Browns Mountain is certainly not a "mountain". To the locals, who named it, and who initiated some of the most intensive battles of the Revolutionary War, it was, and continues to be, a "mountain". It rises several hundred feet above the surrounding territory and remains a landmark for the people who live around it.
Getting ThereKings Mountain National Military Park is located on South Carolina Highway 216. From Greenville, SC travel on I-85 North to NC Exit #2. From Charlotte, NC travel on I- 85 South to NC Exit #2.
Take the Kings Mountain Loop Trail from the visitors center to the summit. Blue-blazed trail. Round trip from the visitors center is roughly 5.5 miles.
Red TapeNo charge at all for visiting Kings Mountain National Military Park. The trails in the park are accessible from the visitors center. The parking lot does close late in the afternoon.
CampingThere are several back country campsites along the Kings Mountain Loop Trail. These are free of charge.
External LinksAn excellent map of the park trails.
Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Kings Mountain State Park.