JOHN CHAPPELL: North Notes: Bear Creek Hiking Club Gearing Up for Busy Fall Schedule
Outdoor adventure in the hills of Robbins is ramping up for fall, as it does every year when leaves on northern Moore's hardwood trees begin to turn.
As usual, Bear Creek Hiking Club's cooler weather hikes omit the Tuesday evening walks popular in warmer months. Instead, the club offers Tuesday morning hikes.
For first-timers, the club has a word or two of helpful advice and a reminder to bring along their own snack and beverage. "Wear sturdy shoes or boots and bring rain gear," Linda Koonce says. "Guests are always welcome. Remember, your participation is at your own risk. Hikers need to register early with the trail leader every time they plan to hike. Groups will wait no longer than five minutes beyond the set meeting time. Those car-pooling are asked to pay their driver $1.50 for every 30 minutes of driving time. Weather may cause changes to the schedule."
At 10 a.m. this Saturday, the group will set off on the five-mile Moore's Knob Trail at Hanging Rock State Park. This is a strenuous hike to a spectacular view along the ridge and atop the tower at the knob.
Contact Neil Johnson, the hike leader, at (910) 585-1052, with any questions about the hike and to arrange car-pooling from Robbins. Hikers will meet in Robbins at 7 a.m. in the Fidelity Bank parking lot.
On Sunday, paddle trail leaders Lynn and William McDuffie will host a paddling clinic from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Bear Creek in Robbins.
"Enjoy an afternoon on Bear Creek," the McDuffies say. "Life jackets and boats will be provided, or you can bring your own. Meet at the creek access on Highway 705 north of Robbins on the left, just past the bridge. Call Linda Koonce (910) 949-2111 if you have questions. Bring a friend, and come join the fun."
The following Tuesday, at 9:30 a.m., a five-mile easy to moderate trek starts off on the Peninsula Trail at Harris Lake County Park in New Hill.
"The Peninsula Trail is a looped trail with views of Harris Lake and the Shearon Harris nuclear reactor," Koonce says. "We will also take some time along the trail to visit the Womble homesite, originally built in 1807. The foundation remains today. Bring a picnic lunch. Call Cathy Hussey to register for this hike (at 910) 464-3679 and for car-pooling from Robbins."
Hikers will meet at the Loblolly Shelter parking lot/Harris Park. Car-poolers will meet in Robbins at Fidelity Bank at 8 a.m. The hike leader is Cathy Hussey.
An easy six-mile hike of the Troy Nature Trail leaves from the Fidelity lot at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15.
"We will hike along the Denson Creek," Koonce says. "This is a one-way trail, so we will need to coordinate cars at each end (Glen Road and Maness Nature Preserve). This is an easy hike with views of the creek, an old train trestle and several streams to cross on footbridges (one on a footlog). Contact Neil Johnson at (910) 585-1052 if you have questions about the hike and to arrange car-pooling from Robbins."
Join Piedmont Hikers
Bear Creek Hiking Club will join with Piedmont Hiking club for a more challenging trek Saturday, Oct. 17. The 12-mile Stone Mountain Hike will leave from Shoney's in Greensboro (Interstate 40 and N.C. 68) at 7:30 a.m.
"We will join with the Piedmont Hiking Club and do a strenuous hike with many stream crossings and a lot of elevation gain and loss," Koonce says. "Let's hope the leaves will still have some color. Call our hike leader, Hubert Lathan, at (336) 656-3691 if you have questions about the hike."
The next day, Sunday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m., club hikers will follow the Bear Creek Trail in Robbins, hiking from the Elise Middle School bus parking lot along the creek and over to the reservoir and back by the same route. A new half-mile spur has been added to the Bear Creek Trail, making this easy hike 3.4 miles. For questions about this hike, contact Koonce at (910) 949-2111.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, the club offers a moderately easy 7.5-mile hike on Greensboro's Laurel Bluff and Reedy Fork trail at Lake Townsend.
"This is a loop hike with no long climbs like you find in the mountains," Koonce says. "Let's hope we get a little rain before this hike so we can enjoy the beautiful reflections in the water."
Call Cathy Hussey at (910) 464-3679 to car-pool from Robbins. The group will leave Robbins at 7:30 a.m. The hike leader is Hubert Lathan.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, the club will volunteer and/or participate in Robbins' annual Pumpkin Run, a moderate marathon through downtown Robbins and on the Bear Creek Trail.
"Volunteers are needed to assist with directions for the trail and pass out water to participants," Koonce says. "If you can volunteer, show up at McDuffie's Store on Branson Circle at 9:30. If you want to walk/run in the marathon, show up for the race at 10:30. The rain date for the Pumpkin Run is Sunday, Oct. 25."
A strenuous 6.2-mile trek on the Sugar Loaf Trail at Morrow Mountain State Park leaves at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.
"The Sugarloaf Trail is a loop trail with several strenuous climbs," Koonce says. "We will hike the loop to the point where it meets the Morrow Mountain Trail. We will hike to the top Morrow Mountain and then backtrack the same trail to the Sugarloaf loop, then back to the trail head.
"Meet us at the Horse Trailer parking lot at Morrow Mountain to begin this trail. Contact hike leader Neil Johnson at (910) 585-1052 if you have questions about the hike and to arrange car-pooling from Robbins and meet for that at the Fidelity Bank parking lot in Robbins."
A Halloween Day hike completes the monthly hike schedule.
"On Saturday, Oct. 31, we will hike to three waterfalls at Stone Mountain, and go over Wolf Rock and Stone Mountain," Koonce says. "Both locations provide great views of the surrounding area. This time of year, the leaves are beautiful at these lower elevations. There are three stream crossings, so you may get your feet wet if water levels are above normal. With all the beauty, plan to be on the trail around five hours. Bring a lunch. Call Hubert Lathan if you have questions about the trail, (336) 656-3691."
Hikers will meet at Shoney's (I-40 at N.C. 68) at 8 a.m. Call Hussey at (910) 464-3679 to car-pool from Robbins. The car-pool will need to leave Robbins at 6:30 a.m.
Preparing for Winter Hikes
Lathan, a frequent hike leader, past president and trail committee chairman of the Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club in Greensboro, will be the special guest speaker at the regular monthly meeting of the Bear Creek Hiking Club.
The club meets at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 27, in the Robbins Rescue Squad building at 141 Horner St. The presentation is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.
"Remember to bring your hiking log," Koonce says. "Mr. Lathan will be talking about being prepared for fall and winter hiking -- in cold weather. He will give hiking tips and present places he has hiked. Thus far in 2009, he has logged over 1,300 miles."
Koonce says everybody is welcome. For more information or any questions, call Cathy Hussey at (910) 464-3679 or Linda Koonce at (910) 949-2111.
"The Bear Creek Hiking Club is for all ages," she says. "It's for people who want to learn more about walking beautiful scenic trails, enjoying hiking together in a group and supporting each other along the way."
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
More like this story