Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mt. Kessler Revisited

I've now been back to Mt. Kessler four times.  Rather than blog about each trip or awkwardly edit my original post about a particular visit, I decided to create this entry which will serve as my all-encompassing piece on Mt. Kessler.  The map below shows all the trails I've covered in the area, but I don't think it is complete yet.  Here is a list of things I think are interesting about Mt. Kessler Greenways followed by some photos:

1.  Rock City - This area of interesting rock formations is not far from the trailhead and is probably the highlight of the hike for most visitors.  The trail follows a thin crevice between sheer, intricately textured, rock outcroppings.

2.  Great views - From different parts of the trail, you can see way off to the west and east.  In a couple places the trail follows a ridge, offering views simultaneously in both directions.

3.  Dwarf Oaks - The somewhat open area where trails split off in all directions is quite rocky and has very little soil.  These conditions have fostered dwarf oaks similar to those found on Black Fork Mountain near Queen Wilhelmena State Park.  To be clear, these aren't naturally shorter Blackjack Oaks, they are oak varieties that are typically much taller and less stocky.  Hey, it's interesting to me.

4.  Fossils -  I hesitated to add this one and may remove it if I see or hear of problems.  Let me first say I've been informed by a professional paleontologist that none of the fossils I've seen so far are rare or valuable.  In other words, look at them and leave them for everyone else to look at.  They will still be there next time you go!

5.  Solitude - Obviously it'd be great if more people found out about Mt. Kessler, registered, and starting visiting this incredible place located so close to the heart of Fayetteville; but I've never seen many people on my visits.

Rock City, Mt. Kessler
Rock City

The Pond

Dwarf Oaks, Mt. Kessler
Dwarf Oaks

Fossils - Crinoids, Clams, and something else

For photos and more information on Mt. Kessler:


  1. Great write up and pictures on the Kessler Mountain trails! I was only able to explore the southwestern loop on my trip out there last Saturday, but I really enjoyed it. While hiking, I happened to see a barred owl which was very cool. Keep up the good work on the blog!

  2. Thanks for the comment and info! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Let me know if you come across any trails I need to checkout.

  3. Hello,

    Thanks for the information. I plan to go there tomorrow with my 9-year old son. He's interested in knowing about the fossils after I told him that we might be able to find them. Where exactly are the fossils? Thanks.

  4. They are around in several locations. Look carefully at rocky outcrops along the trails. I've noticed them most on the west side not far from Rock City and also south of there where are the trails come together. Both of those spots are a long way from the new trailhead, but there may be some fossils on the east side, I'm just always running anytime I'm on that side.

  5. Thanks, Johnnie. That sounds convenient, because I personally want to see Rock City. I'll go there tomorrow then, before watching the game. :D