How do you follow an event like Year of the Trail?
You don’t. But you do build on it.
The just-passed Year of the Trail was intended to promote North Carolina’s vast trail system. Hiking trails, sure, but paddling, biking and equestrian as well. Year of the Trail events were held in 94 of the state’s 100 counties, those events ranging from hour-long guided walks on local greenways to three-day festivals celebrating trails across the state. The ultimate sign of Year of the Trail’s success? When the concept was conceived by the state’s General Assembly in 2021, it included $29.15 million for trail development; in the budget passed this past fall, legislators allotted nearly twice that much for trail development in the next two years.read more
I remember where I was on the very first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970: Standing mid-thigh in central Pennsylvania’s Buffalo Creek, ostensibly taking measurements of stream flow but instead watching the very expensive stream-flow measuring device break its cable and disappear quickly downstream. I remember this more than a half century later because our usually mild-mannered science teacher, Mr. Morris, became wildly animated as he told just how expensive the device, which he’d borrowed, was.read more
The first time I visited the mountains of northwest North Carolina was shortly after Elk Knob State Park opened two decades ago. Facilities were sparse, trail even more so. But there was an old roadbed that plowed straight up the south side of the mountain, to the 5,520-foot summit. The climb was ridiculously steep and a mile-long — the actual trail that soon replaced it takes twice as long to reach the top, from the same trailhead. But oh, the payoff. From the summit looking north is a 180-degree panorama that you could spend a day taking in.read more
We get excited over the opening of a new trail, so imagine our excitement over the opening of a new park. Then multiply that by two because two new parks are actually opening. It’s all happening this Saturday as part of the Year of the Trail Weekend Festival in Edenton.read more