North Carolina county #55 Tar River Trail
On Saturday, the first day of Memorial Day weekend, I was planning to just go to one county and then head home early to avoid any traffic. But I woke up very early, and since my stop was supposed to be at Medoc Mountain State Park which I realized didn’t open until 8am, I checked to see what else was near enough for me to visit. It turned out that one of the stops that I missed in an earlier trip due to the loss of my phone was within striking distance, so I set out for the Tar River Trail in Nash County.
This trail runs right through the city of Rocky Mount along the Tar River, and was well maintained and yet still made you feel surrounded by nature. Even at 6am there were a few joggers, but I still got a good amount of birds, including three types of woodpecker, a Belted Kingfisher, and an unafraid Red-Shouldered Hawk that sat on a stump calling.
I walked from Sunset Park to a bridge, but the trail continues on for several miles, and I didn’t stop at the Tar River Battle Park which is near the center of the trail. On a less busy weekend or weekday it looks like it would be a nice stop.
The trail goes through several different terrain types including this swampy area which was nice looking in the morning sun. There were two bridges running parallel to the one I turned back on, and I could see many swallows nesting under one of them. I took some time to once again get a good shot of one but no luck. The sun was low and I was at the wrong angle to get good lighting. A few people got looks at me standing on a busy bridge with a big lens trying to take photos of swallows in the morning. One thing I noticed was that every person that jogged or walked by said hello or good morning to me, which was nice. There are many places where the passersby try to ignore you.
The people of Rocky Mount have done a great job with this trail and it shows you can have nature side by side with modern life.