HOLLISTER

A peak left behind from the Paleozoic Age offers today’s hikers, anglers, campers and day-trippers a mountain experience that’s rare in eastern North Carolina.

Medoc Mountain is what remains of a once mighty mountain range formed by volcanic action during the Paleozoic Age, about 350 million years ago.

Now, long after its lofty neighbors eroded away, the solitary peak stands as the main attraction in the 3,893-acre Medoc Mountain State Park.

Medoc Mountain rises 325 feet above sea level — hardly a major peak compared to large mountain ranges farther west, but still a prominent pinnacle contrasted with the generally flatter terrain around it in Halifax County.

The mountain and the surrounding land were once the property of farmer and educator Sidney Weller. The area was used for grape cultivation in the 19th century, so Weller named the mountain “Medoc,” after a province in the Bordeaux region of France famous for vineyards.

After Weller’s death in 1854, his land was sold and later subdivided and used for other crops.

In 1972, the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation recommended Medoc Mountain and the surrounding land for a state park. The park was established the next year.

Today, the park provides 10 miles of hiking trails that wander along Little Fishing Creek or rise hundreds of feet to the heights of the mountain itself. Most of the trails are rated easy or moderate in difficulty.

Equestrians will find roughly 10 miles of bridle trails and trailhead parking.

The newest trails offer an opportunity for mountain biking over nine miles of rolling terrain. Riders can gain access to the trails from the visitors center.

A family campground provides sites for tent, trailer or RV camping. Each site accommodates up to six people each.

Of the campground’s 34 sites, 12 have electric hookups and two are wheelchair accessible. The campsites offer tent pads, tables and grills. The camping area has a washhouse with hot showers and toilets. Drinking water is available nearby.

Little Fishing Creek flows through the park for about 2.5 miles, providing a natural opportunity for canoeing.

True to its name, Little Fishing Creek also is a popular fishing destination. The Division of Parks and Recreation describes Little Fishing Creek as one of the cleanest streams in the state. Among species to be found are redbreast sunfish, bluegill, warmouth, largemouth bass and chain pickerel.

A picnic area has 30 tables and eight grills. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby. Unreserved picnic shelters are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Because the shelters are popular, the Division of Parks and Recreation suggests making reservations.

The visitors center is located at 1541 Medoc State Park Road, Hollister. The telephone number for the park office is 252-586-6588.

More information is available online at ncparks.gov/medoc-mountain-state-park/home and at visithalifax.com.