North Carolina Year of the Trail

I still have a few things to post about from last month, but I figured I’d catch y’all up on 2023 and introduce you to a fun new initiative here in NC.  Believe it or not, “North Carolina Year of the Trail” is a designation for 2023 established by NC House Bill 554.  Yep, an actual act of NC Congress!  My first thought was “good initiative, but not something that requires a piece of legislation.”  If you’re thinking the same thing, click HERE to watch a 4-minute video outlining the $28 billion impact, including 260,000 jobs, associated with NC’s outdoor activities.

Spurred by this initiative, and the immense amount of enjoyment and education I gained from visiting National Parks throughout my road trip last summer, I’ve decided to explore as many trails this year as possible, in what is now my home state. From majestic mountains to piedmont plateaus to pristine lakes to swampy bogs to sandy shorelines – North Carolina has it all!   My hips prevent me from true “hiking,” but I can surely take leisurely strolls along scenic paths 😊

Trail #1:  Singletary Lake State Park in Kelly, NC (Singletary Lake Trail)

Singletary Lake State Park was established for group camping, complete with camps that can accommodate groups of 84 and 48 boasting cabins, bath houses, dining halls, sports areas, grills, and picnic sites.
Though set-up primarily for group camping, even non-group campers and day-users can access and enjoy hiking, fishing and paddling on the rain-fed Carolina bay lake. This 500-foot pier provides spectacular access to the lake.
Like most national and state parks built between 1933-1942, Singletary Lake State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), “a work relief program that gave millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression. Considered by many to be one of the most successful of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the CCC planted more than three billion trees and constructed trails and shelters in more than 800 parks nationwide during its nine years of existence. The CCC helped to shape the modern national and state park systems we enjoy today.” – History website

Trail #2: Moores Creek National Battlefield in Currie, NC (History and Tar Heel Trails)

“The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge was a brief, violent clash at daybreak on February 27, 1776. It saw patriots defeat a larger force of loyalists marching toward a rendezvous with British reinforcements coming by sea. Brief but important, the battle effectively ended royal authority in the NC colony and stalled a full-scale British invasion of the South.” -NPS brochure
Patriot troops built a line of earthworks to the west of the bridge (a reconstruction in pic) and took advantage of high ground, anchoring one end of the earthworks in swamp ground and the other at the creek. Just to ensure that the bridge bottleneck would slow down the advancing loyalists from the east, the patriots removed deck timbers from the bridge which severely impeded their advance (and put many of them into the murky swamp during their pre-dawn attack).
This monument commemorates both the battle and Pvt. John Grady, the only patriot killed in the battle. According to educational markers around the battlefield and the visitors center film, approximately 30 loyalists perished in the battle (from musket and cannon fire, drowning, etc.) while 860 were captured as prisoners of war.

All in all, my first couple of “hikes” provided beautiful scenery and fascinating historical education.

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