Transportation museum, natural beauty entertain

Posted July 10, 2009 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2009 8:03 p.m. EDT

— South of the Triad, a transportation museum and mountainous state park let visitors explore the industrial and recreational amenities of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum, in Spencer in Rowan County, showcases the state's transportation history from trains to cars. The museum lies on the site of what was once Southern Railway's largest steam locomotive-service facility.

Visitors can take a 25-minute train ride through the 57-acre property, and exhibits display almost every vehicle that's ever been put on wheels. You can stand on and take a spin on a steel turntable that was used in Southern Railway's train maintenance area.

Admission to the museum is free, but there's a small charge for the train and turntable rides.

If something a little more serene and peaceful is your taste, visit Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanley County.

It's a popular place for fishermen to wet their lines.

Natural beauty surrounds visitors where the Pee Dee, Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers meet in Lake Tillery. Morrow Mountain overlooks the lake to the east, and the view from the summit hints at more adventures to be had.