Archives for: April 2012
The Forest Service announced the completion of a parking lot and the opening of the Catawba Falls area to the public this week.
Catawba Falls, a 100-foot lower and 70-foot upper falls on the Catawba River near Old Fort in the Pisgah National Forest, was acquired by the Foothills Conservancy in 2005 and 2007 after 20 years of work. The Forest Service bought the 88-acre tract in 2010.
The parking lot provides visitors easy access to the scenic waterway, the Forest Service news release says. Get directions to the area and more information about the waterfalls here.
Fort Macon State Park, home to the Civil War fortress located near Atlantic Beach, installed two new replica cannons this week, bringing to three the number of guns built for the park in a partnership between the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and Wayne County Community College.
"The cannons will be star attractions later this month when the fort holds several events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Macon, when Union forces took the fort," the Carteret County News-Times said Wednesday.
The cannons, known as "32-pounders" because of the size of the shell they fire, are 20-foot-long, 4,200-pound replica weapons made with aluminum carriages instead of wooden bases, which quickly rot in the salted sea air. The first of three made was acquired in December 2010, and the park demonstrated its first working cannon the following month.
Commemorative events on April 21 and 22 will include a night cannonade at 8 p.m. Saturday re-enacting the continuous artillery fire that dispersed Federal soldiers who had been spotted on the beach, the News-Times said.
The cannons will be fired again at 10 a.m. on April 23 and 24, then at 4 p.m. on April 25, which is the actual anniversary of the Battle of Fort Macon.
Weekend events will also include flag talks, Civil War music, Civil War uniform talks, musket firing demonstrations, drills and children's activities put on by reenactors portraying soldiers of the North and South, according to the parks Web page (search with "April 2012" here for an event schedule).
The National Forest Service said today it is closing 12 campsites at its Mortimer Campground near Colletsville in Pisgah National Forest because of repeated flooding. Eleven other sites at the campground will remain open.
The campground is on Thorpe Creek near the Wilson Creek National Wild & Scenic River recreation area. The campground has showers and bathrooms, a picnic pavilion, hiking trails, and access to fishing. About 800 people stay at the campground annually, according to a news release.
Sites 1 to 11 on the lower loop and one of the walk-in sites will be closed. Three walk-in campsites near the picnic pavilion, and sites 12 to 19 will be open on a first come, first-served basis this season.
"It is well known that the Mortimer area has a long history of flooding," John Crockett, Grandfather District ranger, said in the news release. "In fact, the flood of 1940 leveled the town of Mortimer.
"I cannot, in good conscience, continue to allow visitors to stay in the lower portion of Mortimer Campground knowing that it's just a matter of time before another major flood hits the area."
The Wilson Creek corridor, a major access to Mortimer Campground, has had a history of recent flooding with several swift-water rescues for campers and residents along the Brown Mountain Beach Road, the news release says.