National Trails Day: Buffalo Creek Preserve   Recently updated !


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On National Trails day was June 3, 2017 and we chose Buffalo Creek Preserve. Usually on National Trails day, people choose a nature trail or park that has walking trails and do work such as trail clean up, moving dead trees, litter removal etc. We got a very late start that day so we couldn’t take part in any of the hiking trail clean up. What we decided to do instead was drive to Buffalo Creek Preserve.

Buffalo Creek Preserve is a stretch of 393 acres of protected land located in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina and is part of the Carolina Thread trail. It’s not far from us and being that we got a late start and it was slightly warm that day, we decided to go in the afternoon which is good for me because I get the “golden hour” photos but it also means more bugs. The weather here in North Carolina has been warmer, the bugs have been out in crazy numbers, especially mosquitos and my youngest seems to be a magnet for them. I don’t know what it is about that kid but since he was little they’ve always flown straight to him. He’s the first one to start with the “when are we going  to the car?” I didn’t want this trip to be cut short so I put extra bug spray in the bag he carries with his epi pen and extra water. We had been using hydration packs (life savers!)  but since we were running late, I forgot them. I highly recommend that if you’re doing any hiking in the heat to pack accordingly and use a packing list.

Buffalo Creek Preserve is definitely a different hike than we usually do. The terrain wasn’t difficult at all but being that it’s mostly rugged we felt like we were in the desert. We only saw one mountain biker so I believe that this trail could be used mainly as a bike trail. The website indicates that it is used for all types of hiking, walking and mountain biking though. When you first arrive you walk through a wide open savannah. Although there isn’t much elevation in terms of climbing, you will have to walk up some gradual hills that are rocky. At one point you can look out and see what looks like could be the Uwharrie Mountains in the distance. As you walk further down the trail, there’s a farm on the right. In reading about this trail, I learned that the farm is about 130 acres and leased to a farmer. The trail appears to share part of this farmer’s driveway for a good distance. There was corn growing in the fields that helped to provide some much needed shade as we walked.

As we got walked further down the trail, we entered a denser forest and I could tell we were near water because the mosquitos were everywhere. The forest was really thick with lots of shade. This portion of the trial goes along the banks of the Adam’s Creek. At one point, we looked straight down a ravine and saw the creek. Some of it was a little dry and not running. I walked ahead once I heard running water just to see what was ahead. I apparently wasn’t looking up when I was walking because they all called me back to show me not 1 but 2 long snake skins in the trees right above where I was. I don’t do well around snakes. I’m worse with snakes than spiders. I’d rather be in a room full of spiders…wait, that’s not true. I hate all of the above. Needless to say, I kept walking faster and looking left and right as I walked. Around the corner, is the swinging bridge. I love bridges, especially photographing them. What my kids love to do though, is run and shake the bridge as I’m on it because they think its funny to hear me freak out.

The water underneath the bridge was pretty clear. We slowly made our way down to the bank and I let them play around near the water, watching for snakes of course. I went across the bridge, solo, to take some photos. My oldest is starting to get into photography so he’s been saying to me “mom, where’s the camera I have a great shot!” I used to be hesitant and doubt that he knew what he was talking about or seeing but the more I let him take the camera the better he gets. He saw me on the bridge and came up, took my phone from me this time and got a shot of the bridge that even I didn’t think of. I had to look at him and shake my head, he can’t outshoot me yet dammit he’s only 11! 🙂 He’s developing his talent though and I encourage that, especially when I see his face after I like what he’s captured.

We stayed around the bridge for a while but it was getting late. We decided to turn around there and head back. The entire trail goes 2.1 miles one way. I’m not sure how much more we would have had to walk to complete the 2.1 but I’m glad we turned around because everyone was hot and tired. The walk back was more comfortable since the sun started setting. On the way back, I captured some close up shots of flowers and berries, then my battery died. Man, I really need to invest in a backup battery!

This trail doesn’t rank on my list of ones to come back to mainly because of the distance but I did like the swinging bridge. If I lived closer, I’d most likely frequent this trail for trail running. I’ve gotten in to trail running lately and I really like it (blog post coming soon). I always like learning about a particular trail so the fact that this trail takes part in land and animal preservation is a definite plus. I recommend that you check this one out for yourself and if you do let me know in the comments! I hope to get to as many of the trails along the Carolina Thread Trail as possible this year. If you have one that you’d recommend or is a favorite let me know as well.

Thanks for reading and as always go outside, let nature be your nurturer and photograph it all!

-J


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