Pros: Beautiful mountain area
While it's far from the largest mountain in NC, Morrow Mountain State Park may be the oldest mountain range in North America. The theory is that it's worn down over time.
However, that's just trivia . . . you want DETAILS about the place!
Miscellaneous: Morrow Mountain State Park is located just outside Albemarle, NC. Admission is free. The gates close at dark: if you're in, you're staying in; if you're out, you're not getting in! Alcoholic beverages are not allowed anywhere in the park. You can expect to see deer, especially if you're there early in the morning -- they seem to know that hunters aren't allowed in the park.
Activities/things to see:
Khrone house: In the late 1860's a doctor named Khrone settled on top of Morrow Mountain. His homestead has been rebuilt. Visitors can see the main house (don't think big fancy house here -- he was a small time country doctor), a small house in which his two spinster daughters lived, and the house where he saw patients and grew herbs, etc. Lots of trees make the Khrone house a pleasant place to picnic on a hot summer day.
Swimming pool: The pool, which is open seasonally, is averaged-sized, and most of the water is not too deep, making it good for children. Usually the Morrow Mountain pool isn't very crowded. It's walking distance from the campsites. Admission is $3/day.
Hiking trails: If you go all the way to the top of the mountain you'll find several easy, well-marked hiking trails. They're appropriate for school-aged children. Bathrooms and covered picnic facilities are located at the top of the mountain.
Morrow Mountain Lodge: This is a beautiful, old rustic building located about half-way up the mountain. Its all-wood main room contains a beautiful huge stone fireplace. A smallish kitchen and bathroom facilities are just off the main room. The back doors of the Lodge open onto a spacious green meadow. This would be an excellent location for a family reunion, or other large social event.
Nature museum: Walking distance from the Lodge, this tiny museum is more like a storage shed with half a dozen exhibits on the native animals. Okay, I'm exagerating, but it's not much of a museum. If you're going to the park anyway, stop by -- but don't plan a trip around this place!
Picnic areas: Morrow Mountain is covered with picnic tables/shelters. If you're planning a big event, they can be reserved for $25-75, depending upon the location and size. Most include at least one fire place and water, and they're all in very scenic locations. The prettiest one (would seat 30 people) is at the top of the mountain. The largest is near the swimming pool. If you're just going with your family, there's no need to reserve a spot -- you'll find plenty of empty spots big enough for 1-2 families.
Campsites: Morrow Mountain has over 100 tent campsites, which are organized into three "loops." It's one of the most pleasant campsites I've ever visited. Each loop has a large, centrally located bathhouse containing flushie toilets, hot showers, and a large tub for doing laundry. Each campsite includes a good flat spot for a tent, a picnic table, a metal hook for lantern-hanging (which protects the trees from fire), and a very nice fire area (ringed with metal, built on concrete -- very safe). Water spigots and trash cans are located every 3-4 campsites. $12/night will get you a campsite. For that price you can pitch two tents and keep one car in your campsite (additional cars can be parked at the swimming pool). The campsites are pretty close together, but everyone seems to be very polite and quiet after 9:00 or so. Dogs are welcome, but they must be kept on leashes. The host comes around at dinner time in a golf cart to collect the fee. The host also sells fire wood from the cart. The campsites are first-come, first-serve can cannot be reserved. The crowd at Morrow Mountain campsites tend to be quiet and family-oriented. People are very friendly, visiting one another at dinner time, kids riding bikes together, etc. Last Halloween "the regulars" brought pumpkins and had a carving contest -- it was a nice weekend for kids to be at camp.
Cabin camping: Morrow Mountain has about 10 very nice cabins, which are available by reservation only. The cabins have 2-3 bedrooms, indoor bathrooms, fire places, heat and air conditioning, and large screen porches. I've never stayed in them personally, but I know they're very nice. These cabins are often reserved a year in advance, and they're $200-300/week.
Primative camping: If you want to camp without any amenities (no showers, pit latrines), there's a spot for you too. Most Morrow Mountain campers like the family campground, so you can be pretty sure you'd have this place all to yourself! I believe it's about $5/night.
Morrow Mountain is a very nice place to visit. I highly recommend it.