Archives for: April 2013
The National Forest Service is proposing* a ban on alcohol at Fishers Landing, a small campground overlooking the Neuse River in the Croatan National Forest.
"The restriction is the result of resource and facility damage along with visitor complaints of alcohol-related incidents at this recreation site," a news release says.
Fishers Landing offers nine sites for tents and access to riverbank fishing, along with vault toilets, access to running water, fire rings and picnic tables. It is about eight miles south of New Bern on U.S. 70.
The Forest Service is taking comments for the next two weeks via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Croatan National Forest, 141 E Fisher Road, New Bern, N.C. 28560; or by fax at 252-637-9113.
*This post originally said the ban was in effect. The National Forest Service issued a correction to its news release moments later.
Damage to the property and "visitor complaints of alcohol-related incidents" have prompted a ban on alcohol at Fishers Landing campground in the Croatan National Forest. Click on the photo below for more information about Fishers Landing.
For the first time in its history, the Bodie Island Lighthouse opened to the public on Friday, allowing visitors to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to climb the 170-foot tower. The public debut follows renovation work that began in 2009.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the tallest brick lighthouse in North America, also opened for the 2013 season Friday. It has opened for climbing each year since 1993, according to a National Park Service news release.
The Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouses will remain open through Columbus Day, Monday, October 14.
Renovations at the Bodie Island site began in the summer of 2009 and were halted early in 2011 when more extensive damage than expected was discovered and then money ran out. A $1.89 million contract secured in January 2012 allowed the project to continue.
Work included renovations to the lighthouse's first-order Fresnel lens and to the structure and supports of the tower, stairs and the lantern level.
Earlier work at the site on N.C. 12 included moving the Bodie Island Lifesaving Station, its boathouse and the former Bodie Island Coast Guard Station away from shoreline erosion, and building a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk leading from the parking lot to an elevated viewing platform.
Forty-five-minute guided tours of the Bodie Island Lighthouse will run from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and start every 35 minutes. Tickets are $8 or $4 for adults 62 or older, children younger than 12, and for those holding National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Passes.
Reservations for a tour can only be made between one to seven days in advance of the tour date by calling (252) 475-9417, but half of each day's tickets will be sold onsite.
Climbing hours for the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be 90 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and extend to 5:30 p.m. from May 24 to September 2. Tickets are $7 or $3.50 for adults 62 or older, children younger than 12, and those holding National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Passes.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse tickets are sold on a first come/first served basis only at the site the day of the climb.
Children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb either lighthouse.
You can save the $4 ticket price at Wright Brothers National Memorial if you visit between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday while the National Park Service celebrates Wilbur Wright's 146th birthday, the NPS says.
The celebrations will include activities just about every hour, including Junior Ranger activities, kite building and flying demonstrations, and a "Flight Room Talk" about how the Wright brothers solved the problems of human flight, which will be presented three times.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks has replicas of the Wrights' gliders and other exhibits about manned flight through the space age in two buildings, a film, the 60-foot-tall granite Wright Memorial atop Kill Devil Hill, the 90-foot dune where the initial flights were launched (above), and more.
Normally admission costs $4 for anyone 16 years old or older, and is good for seven days.
Several National Forest campgrounds and day-use sites in the North Carolina mountains opened for the season on April 1, the National Forest Service reminds us in a news release.
Nantahala National Forest campgrounds opening this week include:
* Appletree Group Camp
* Cable Cove
* Horse Cove
* Van Hook Glade.
The Cheoah Point and Standing Indian campgrounds in the Nantahala opened March 29.
There are about 16 designated campgrounds in the Nantahala National Forest.
In addition, Balsam Lake Lodge in the Nantahala just recently opened after repairs to the dam and lake. Groups of up to 20 people can rent the fully equipped Balsam Lake Lodge for $170 to $200 a night.
Pisgah National Forest campgrounds that opened Monday are:
* Curtis Creek
* Lake Powhatan
Davidson River and North Mills River campgrounds are open year-round, as are the Pisgah’s three group camps.
There are about 20 designated campgrounds in the Pisgah.
Day-use areas in the Nantahala that opened Monday include:
* Cliffside Lake
* Cherokee Lake
* Wayehutta ATV System.
Pisgah day-use areas that opened Monday include:
* Brown Mountain OHV Area
* Murray Branch
* Poplar Boat Launch
* Stackhouse Boat Launch.
The restroom facilities at Sycamore Flats and Coon Tree picnic areas opened for the season on Monday, too. Flush-toilet restrooms in the moluntains are closed during the winter to prevent damage from frozen water in pipes.
There are also eight campgrounds in the Croatan National Forest near the coast, all but one of which are open year-round, and 10 Uwharrie National Forest campgrounds in the central part of the state, most of which are open year-round.
Two new bike riding trails will be available this spring at state parks in Raleigh and Gatesville.
Merchants Millpond State Park said Tuesday it has opened a five-mile bike trail loop that follows old logging roads in the park to the millpond. At the millpond end of the trail, the park has provided some picnic tables that overlook the pond, according to the park's Facebook page.
Merchants Millpond, right, is known as a prime spot in the northeastern corner of the state for kayaking or canoeing among giant, Spanish moss-draped cypress trees.
In Raleigh, the Museum Park at the North Carolina Art Museum will dedicate its new Blue Loop, a one-mile walking and cycling nature trail, at 10:30 a.m. April 14.
In addition to the new trail at the Art Museum, food trucks will be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Big Medicine bluegrass band and the N.C. A&T State University drumline will perform, the Museum says. The event is free.
Museum Park, which features permanent and temporary sculpture amid woods, meadows, creeks and a pond, is not a part of the state parks system, but it is a state-supported institution. Its main trail is a part of the City of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway Trail System.