Sometimes it’s good to see what’s in your own backyard. While going all around the world is exciting, I know that I’m missing a lot of opportunities right here around Asheville.
This past Saturday, I was introduced to two small areas around Asheville.
I was invited to talk about the Southern national parks and my book, Forests, Alligators, Battlefields: My Journey through the National Parks of the South. Am I still marketing this book?” You may ask. No, but if a group asks me, I go.
Bev McD. of Carolina Mountain Club asked me to speak to her group, RossCraggen Woods – a private club with a few acres in Arden. But before my talk, Bev took me to see a view of Lake Julian, a Buncombe County Park and power plant. See the picture above.
Bev also showed me Collier Cove Nature Preserve, another county park. It only has 2.5 miles of trail, or so, with some elevation but it’s meant to be a full-day hike. I never would have seen this without Bev’s help. I always like to learn how the public acquired the land.
Buncombe County bought the 29 acres from the Collier Family in 2012. They had already built the trails on the property. Twenty-nine acres isn’t much but the land is steep, adding to the interest.
Every bit of land here was owned by someone.
Sometimes the owners actually give the land to the public. Most of the times, the descendants sell the land, but not at market (read “development”) prices.
Sunday I met a small group from the Raleigh Camino group. They had come for a weekend of friendship, food and hiking with the Asheville Camino group.
Only four hikers showed up because the rest were still recuperating from the 16-mile hike. But that was OK. The hike to Lunch Rocks, MST east of the Folk Art Center, was just the right length before the Raleigh group started out on their long drive.
I need to have a repertoire of short hikes, close to Asheville because they come in handy.