• 54°

First-day hiker treks to Pilot Mountain

By Russ Stevens

Another year. Another first day hike.

Having lived in “the Bury” for eight years, I have taken 4 first day hikes — where free, guided hikes of state parks are offered on New Year’s Day. That gives me a .500 hiking average. Since the top 2019 baseball batting average was .329, I think I’m doing OK.

Each of my hikes have been at a different park, and each has its own charm. This one’s major charm was the view. The prior year’s destination, Lake Norman State Park, had interesting flora and environment around the lake. Before that, Eno River State Park had a huge number of people and a wonderfully rushing river. And before that, Morrow Mountain was a long, rigorous hike. All have been a blast.

This year’s hike at Pilot Mountain was not overcrowded; there were probably 40 people. Our ranger was Matt Windsor, the park superintendent. He led us on a moderate hike, with some ups and downs, but the views were worth the effort.

From one of our stopping points, we could barely see Dunn’s Mountain in Rowan County. Visibility was clear, but picking out the not particularly large Dunn’s Mountain from about 50 miles away was iffy. On a really clear day, Matt said, you can see more than 75 miles.

All during the hike, dozens of turkey vultures were circling. Maybe they were waiting for one of us to not make it.

The treat was when a pair of ravens (who nest there) did aerial acrobatics for us. Ravens are fast flyers and gave us quite a show. And, oh, I almost forgot to mention that there were a couple of llamas at the trailhead available for picture taking.

It was a wonderfully sunny day, but it was also cold. The ranger gave out some light duty headbands, for which I was grateful. It kept my ears from freezing off in the breeze at over 2,000 feet of elevation.

Overall, this was a great hike, and I would recommend that others come out and enjoy nature as we look forward into the New Year. See the beauty that is out there for us to enjoy.

Russ Stevens lives in Salisbury, bikes when he can, hikes when he can and sings in the Salisbury-Rowan Choral Society.

Comments

Local

Crowd converges on Salisbury for state pickleball tournament

News

After another court ruling against voter ID, local lawmakers say they’re committed to the idea

Local

Rowan County Fair back in full force with rides, livestock, vendors

Coronavirus

With COVID statistics still concerning, local health experts weigh in on the safety of gatherings

Business

Couple hopes to create a unique destination with nostalgic arcade, upscale cocktail bar

Books

Rowan Public Library offers online resources for skill building

Business

Rowan County YMCA will provide $75 vouchers for health care plan members

Business

Biz Roundup: Rowan Chamber wraps up recruitment campaign

Faith

Faith Briefs: St. Luke’s Episcopal bids farewell to music director

Local

Salisbury resident Nalini Joseph named to NC chief justice’s new task force

High School

Sports obituary: Former South Legion, West baseball coach Wright was a builder

Education

RSS school board to receive update on pay study

Education

Catawba College’s first choral concert is Oct.3

Nation/World

Panel OKs Dems’ $3.5T bill, crunch time for Biden agenda

Nation/World

COVID-19 vaccine boosters could mean billions for drugmakers

Nation/World

Sheriff’s office: At least 3 killed in Amtrak derailment

High School

West smashes South 55-16

Nation/World

Biden says $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan has hit ‘stalemate’

Crime

Court rules sex offenders can be monitored perpetually; General Assembly law limits tracking to 10 years

Crime

R. Kelly fate in jury’s hands at sex trafficking trial

High School

High school football: Hornets romp; North loses key road game

News

Supporters of man freed from prison seek Cooper pardon

Coronavirus

Rowan County’s COVID-19 death toll tops 40 for September

College

Catawba-Wingate football game canceled