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Rabe Family Donates New Observation Deck at Morrow Mountain State Park

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Roy Cooper, Governor
Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary
Release Note: 
Katie Hall
Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Rabe Family Donates New Observation Deck at Morrow Mountain State Park

RALEIGH, N.C. — Thanks to a generous donation from the late Tom Rabe, his wife Jean and the Rabe family, a new 1,000 square foot observation deck is now open on top of Morrow Mountain. The donation was made to the park through the Friends of Morrow Mountain, the non-profit organization that also helped oversee the construction of the project. The observation deck faces east over the park, Lake Tillery and the Uwharrie National Forest.

Tom Rabe is the grandson of James McKnight Morrow, who donated lands to create Morrow Mountain State Park, including the peak that is now called “Morrow Mountain.”

The previous overlook area was small and in poor condition, and resources were not available to make the necessary upgrades. Construction on the new observation deck began in early March. The deck has an accessible picnic area as well as a stone wall built with salvaged rock from the park’s construction in the 1930s and 40s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The synthetic decking is resistant to the elements and was donated by Fiberon, a local decking company, to the Friends of Morrow Mountain. 

Park staff wish to thank the engineers and contractors involved for the hard work on the ground that made this project a success.

“The Morrow Mountain overlook area is a favorite spot in the park, and this new deck will provide a place for memorable moments for our visitors with their families and friends,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Davidson. “The state park was established in 1935 thanks to many private donations and support from the local community. I am thankful to see that we still have strong community support today in helping with park projects for future generations to enjoy.” 

About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 232,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 18 million visitors annually.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit


N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
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