It was the podcast you hope for setting out for a long walk: a tale of adventure and intrigue from a distant time that makes you think, Man, I wish I’d been there. That sense of longing fades to wistfulness when you realize you could have been there. Or some place very much like it.
The State of North Carolina has declared 2023 to be Year of the Trail, and there’s going to be a lot going on. For starters, the State Legislature has allocated $29.15 million in funding for the Complete the Trails Fund. That money will fund projects on North Carolina’s 12 State Trails, which you can find here. Expect a lot of “Excuse our Mess” signs in 2023.
Too early to start planning for 2023?
Not when you love the outdoors and 2023 happens to be Year of the Trail in North Carolina.
As I’ve mentioned over the last couple of months, next year has been deemed Year of the Trail in North Carolina and there’s going to be a lot going on. For starters, the State Legislature in 2022 allocated $29.15 million in funding for the Complete the Trails Fund. That money will fund State Trail projects as well as projects deemed :shovel-ready” — that is, the land has been purchased and the trail designed; all that’s needed now is the money to build it. Expect a lot of “Excuse our Mess” signs out in the woods next year.
In the 30 years that I’ve been either telling people about places to explore, or actually taking them there, I’ve had a singular focus: the trails less traveled. My very first piece, written for the Travel section of The News & Observer in Raleigh in February 1992, was about Raven Rock State Park. Scouting trail there on a cold but brilliantly blue Sunday afternoon, I hiked to the park’s namesake, a bluff 150 feet above the Cape Fear River, and saw nary a soul. The quiet, the view … .