/ Trails and Recreation,

Conserving Carolina Trails Will Reopen May 16  

A young hiker looks out from the rock outcrop on Wildcat Rock Trail.

Conserving Carolina will reopen its trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge on Saturday, May 16. Four trails were  temporarily closed this spring due to overcrowding that posed a public health risk and damaged the trails. These trails include Bearwallow Mountain Trail, Trombatore Trail, the Florence Nature Preserve trail system, and Wildcat Rock Trail. 

The May 16 date for reopening allows time for Conserving Carolina to address tree damage from intense spring storms. Following reopening, Conserving Carolina will monitor conditions to ensure that the trails can remain open. If conditions pose significant public health risks, result in harm to protected natural areas, or create congested conditions at parking areas and adjacent roadways, the trails may close again.  

Conserving Carolina’s Trails Director, Peter Barr, says, “We are happy to be able to reopen these trails so everyone can get out and enjoy these beautiful places. However, we cannot stress enough the need for trail users to exercise good judgement and good stewardship of the land they’ve come to enjoy, so we can keep the trails open.”

Hikers can avoid overcrowding by visiting trails at off-peak times or exploring lesser known trails. Hikers are also encouraged to practice social distancing, staying at least six feet away from others as much as possible. As always, hikers must park only in designated areas and carry out any garbage or pet waste.

Conserving Carolina is a local nonprofit land trust that maintains over 20 miles of trails for the public to enjoy. Conserving Carolina is currently building 7.5 miles of new hiking trails, advancing 5 new greenways, and spearheading the ambitious 130-mile HIckory Nut Gorge State Trail. The mission of Conserving Carolina is to protect, restore, and inspire appreciation of nature. Learn more and become a member at conservingcarolina.org.        

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