Alexander's Ford Trail - a forest trail covered with fallen autumn leaves. Bare trees with a few remaining yellow leaves stand tall on either side of the path. An informational sign with images and text is angled towards the viewer in the foreground reading "Alexander's Ford" - the rest of the sign is illegible in photo
Trailhead to Alexander's Ford in Bradley Nature Preserve

Alexander’s Ford Field Report

This one was really hard to find. My GPS kept trying to send me down a private road in a gated community. The bast way to get there is to navigate to Grays Chapel in Polk County North Carolina. It’s on a dead end road, and you’ll turn right onto a gravel road right before you get to the church. The gravel road is short and leads to a picnic shelter and the trail head.

Part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, this section will take you to Alexander’s Ford where on October 5, 1780, Patriot forces rested for the night before heading on towards Kings Mountain.

The trail to the ford is about 1.2 miles long and runs through the Bradley Nature Preserve. The trail itself is mostly level with small steep sections at the start and the end. It starts out as gravel but switches to a dirt trail early on. There’s a spur to the right near the start of the trail, but it just loops around back to the main trail. It’s a little less steep, so if you don’t fancy walking down hill (or back up) you may want to veer off.

Open field surrounded by different types of trees and golden long grass growing in foreground.
Clearing near the ford

After a little more than a mile, you’ll reach an open area, possibly the exact spot where the Overmountain Men made camp during their pursuit of Patrick Ferguson during the American Revolution. A little further on, you’ll reach the Green River and Alexander’s Ford.

Access point to the Green River - with Overmountain Victory Trail placard
The Green River at Alexander’s Ford

Final Thoughts

Not a long hike or a strenuous one. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of time as it’s only a little over 2 miles total. There’s a picnic table at the river, and it’s also a nice secluded spot.

The history is interesting too. I should have a page ready by early next week. We’ll start out with the aftermath of the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill and follow our heroes until just before the Battle of Kings Mountain.