JOHN CHAPPELL: NORTH NOTES: Bear Creek Hikers Ready for a Busy July
Bear Creek Hiking Club is bringing outdoor lovers to Robbins. Hiking jaunts about the surrounding foothills region are proving popular with visitors as well as residents of the upper Moore County area.
On Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., hikers will set out on an easy 2.9-mile "Tuesday Night Walk" on Bear Creek Trail, starting from the Elise Middle School parking lot.
"We will walk the new trail section, then onto the original trail and return to our cars," says Linda Koonce. "No need to register for this hike."
Hiking rules for the club are simple, according to Koonce.
"On our hiking trips bring your own snack and beverage," she says. "Bring a hiking stick if you like. Wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring rain gear. Guests are always welcome. Groups will wait no longer than five minutes beyond the set meeting time."
A hiking schedule has been printed and is available at many places around town.
"Those carpooling are asked to pay their driver $1.50 for every 30 minutes of driving time," Koonce says. "Weather may cause changes to the schedule after they are printed in the hiking schedule. Please register early with the trail leader every time you plan to hike. See phone numbers listed for Trail Leaders (in the schedule)."
Trail difficulty ranges from easy hikes where there is little change in elevation through moderate four- to six-milers with up to 1,000 feet gain in elevation to more challenging ones with greater elevation and longer than six miles.
July Schedule Set
Koonce released a July schedule with a number of planned expeditions beginning Thursday, July 9, at 8 a.m with a hike of the Sugarloaf Mount Trail/Laurel Trail, Morrow Mountain State Park in Albemarle.
"We will park at the horse trailer parking lot and hike the Sugarloaf Trail to its intersection with the Laurel Trail spur," she says. "We will hike that short trail and return to the parking lot by the Sugarloaf Trail. Bring bug spray and water. Call to register for this hike."
Degree of difficulty for this hike is rated as strenuous. Hikers are to meet at the Morrow Mountain horse trailer parking area at 8 a.m. To car pool, meet at Fidelity Bank Parking Lot at 7 a.m. The hike leader is Cathy Hussey. She can be reached at 464-3679.
On Tuesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m., Bear Creek hikers will meet for another Tuesday Night Walk, this time in the Sandhills on the 1.7-mile Aberdeen Lake Trail. Hikers are to assemble at the Aberdeen Lake parking lot just off U.S. 1.
"We will hike the trail twice for those who would like a longer walk (3.4 miles)," Koonce says. "E-mail me (email@example.com) to register."
On Thursday, July 16, at 8 a.m., hikers will set out on the Thornburg Trail Hike (3.62 miles).
"We will begin our walk at the Thornburg trail head on Lassiter Mill Road at the old Thornburg Farm," she says. "The trail goes right past the farmhouse and between several barns as it follows a dirt road down to Betty McGee's Creek.
"We will hike on the trail to the point it meets the Robbins Branch Trail and then return to the Thornburg Farm. Bring bug spray and water.
"Call to register for this hike. The degree of difficulty would be moderate, and to car pool, meet at the Fidelity Bank Parking Lot in Robbins at 7:30 a.m. Our hike leader is Steve Morgan (910) 464-2690."
Joining Piedmont Hikers
On Saturday, July 18, the Grassy Ridge hike will set out from Rocky Mount, Va., at 6:30 a.m.
"We will join the Piedmont Hiking Club at Shoney's in Greensboro and hike this 6.5-mile trail with an elevation change of approximately 625 feet," Koonce says. "People with limited experience will enjoy this hike.
"Please meet at Shoney's and be ready to leave at 8. Call to register for this hike. Bring bug spray, water and snack or lunch to eat on the trail. The degree of difficulty would be moderate. To car pool from Robbins, meet at Fidelity Bank at 6:30 a.m. Our hike leader is Hubert Lathan."
On Tuesday, July 21, another Tuesday night walk around Reservoir Park in Southern Pines will set out at 6:30. That Thursday, July 23, starting at 6:30 a.m., members of the Bear Creek Hiking Club will scout trails at Pilot Mountain State Park.
"Call Cathy at (910) 464-3679 to join the scouting group," Koonce says. "Scouting means we have not visited the trail prior to the hike and are not familiar with those trails."
On Saturday morning, July 25, the club will hike the Badin Lake Trail.
"We will begin this hike at the Cove Boat Ramp access," she says. "The hike is a 5.6-mile loop that takes us by the shoreline with great views of the lake and alternately into the hardwood forest past old mine shafts and across streams.
"This hike has an elevation gain/loss of some 240 feet. Bring extra water and bug spray. E-mail me to register."
Carpoolers from Robbins will meet at 7 a.m. at the Fidelity Bank Parking Lot at 7 a.m. The final July Tuesday Night Walk will again follow the Bear Creek Trail, leaving at 5:30 p.m July 28 from the Rescue Building on Horner Street.
"We will hike from there to the trail," Koonce says. "As usual on Tuesday Night Walks there is no need to register for this hike, but remember to bring bug spray and water."
The regular monthly meeting of Bear Creek Hiking Club will be that night at the Robbins Rescue Squad Building. The last hike of the month will follow Governors Trail in Carthage, leaving July 30 at 8 a.m.
"Hike this wonderful trail right here at home in Carthage," Koonce says. "There are wonderful hardwoods and several creek crossings. Bring bug spray and extra water.
"Contact Jan and Phil Hecox at (910) 639-0958 to register for this hike. Meet at McDonald's in Carthage at 7:30 a.m. to caravan over to the hiking trail. Hope to see you on the trails!"
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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