Catawba Riverwalk Trail: Rock Hill, SC


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Thanks again to the AllTrails app for finding this place for me! I was running out of ideas for places to go (not good) so one day and did a random search on the app and found the Riverwalk trail  in Rock Hill. At first I thought it was the same as the Riverwalk Greenway but it’s not. It’s close to it though. The trail isn’t far from Charlotte and definitely worth the drive. Signs clearly direct you to the park but the drive in is a little difficult and bumpy.

We brought a friend of my oldest son with us this time and of course when we parked, folks had to use the bathroom. The only complaint I have about this park is the bathrooms, porta potties, gross…why! After that mini freak out, we started to walk the trail. Some construction was going on and the trail around the river was diverted to another area. I had to go through some back woods type of trail to get to what I assume is the main trail. I really was running short on time so walking quickly became more of a necessity than a preference.

As an avid trail walker, I loved it. I guess it reminded me of when I was a kid and would get lost in my backyard on purpose just to see if I could find my way back. *side note* We had 2 wooded acres that were ours but my family land was an additional 20-30 or so that I was allowed to wander and did so frequently. I wish my kids had that freedom as well but times change, people move away so we trail walk.

As per usual, the boys grabbed sticks to knock down spider webs and “defend their mom” (they know I hate spiders.) Walking quickly, we made it through the wilderness to a paved road along the river. I wasn’t seeing ANYTHING worth photographing at first. I kept hearing the river rushing and every time I’d go down a path towards it, I’d either get met with a lot of overgrowth or a path I knew I couldn’t walk back up. Finally, through the woods I saw an old train bridge and damn near ran towards it.

Finally, I reached the old train bridge with a covered bridge right below…JACKPOT! I got there right as the sun was setting over the river so the lighting was awesome! My eye naturally gravitates toward light and shadows, I also love clean lines and the way the covered bridge intersected the train bridge was ridiculously artistic. Whoever designed that, high five from me.

There weren’t too many people walking the trail that afternoon. Well there was this one shady guy that walked past me like 3 times and had a not so friendly vibe. Man I’m glad my husband is a big dude (6’5) because we were way too far away from people if that guy really was trying to be froggy, just sayin’. My husband usually doesn’t stick close when I’m taking photos and he wasn’t right by me then but just knowing he’s not far off made me more comfortable.

I think I spent close to an hour taking photos from all different angles. I heard in the background a bunch of clanging and saw the three boys on a swing that over looked the bridge. Something in me said don’t look, but I looked. They were taking the swing and seeing how high it would go while jumping off…ugh boys! It’s time to go!

Walking back, I caught the sun behind the trees. I adjust the f stop on my camera and got the best sunbursts I’d ever taken. I’ve been taking sunburst photos before but they never turned out like this though. Then my youngest yelled, snake! We looked down not 6 or so feet from where I was standing and a copperhead was making its way up the hill. If I had stepped back I probably would have been bitten and this blog post would have been a totally different story. I hate snakes, gees! My husband noticed that it had blood on its mouth so it either had just fought another snake and won, or it just ate something or maybe both. Either way, I was out! We looked at the clock and saw we had 20 minutes to get to the car and literally ran back through the woods to get there.

This was one of my best photographic days this challenge. Now that the weather is getting warmer I’m hoping that all of my photo days are similar to this. I usually edit my photos to be as true to life as possible but this time I decided to give them a different feel. I’ve been using Lightroom Presets from Contrastly (that I really like by the way)  just to dabble into the artistic photography niche while still maintaining my preference to be as true to the eye as possible.

Hopefully you like the photos from this trip as much as I do.

Get out there, explore, let nature be your nurturer and don’t forget to photograph it all!

-J

 

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