Kings Mountain...would have enabled us to oppose a superior force with advantage had it not been covered with wood which sheltered the Americans and enabled them to fight in their favorite manner.
Alexander Chesney, South Carolina loyalist
The woods you see around you today may look ancient, but they are only a shadow of the mature forest that stood here in October 1780. Hardwood trees like oaks, hickories, and chestnuts covered the slopes of Kings Mountain, their great trunks massive by today's standards. Each tree stood much farther apart than you see here. Nor was there as much underbrush. Both Whig and Tory accounts of the battle say they could see their enemies at long distances, and could move rapidly under the forest canopy. At the time of the battle, the top of the mountain was bare, open ground.