Friday, March 30, 2012

Roanoke Canal Trail

RV Resort (site #P37)
Roanoke Rapids, NC

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Not much interesting has been going on.  We are in one of those rv parks just off of I95 so we do have a little bit of entertainment to watch as the Snowbirds come in usually for a one night pit stop.  They start landing here around 1:00pm and the place is almost full by 6:00pm.  At 8:00am the place is half empty and by 10:00am, all of the over-nighters are gone.

On Tuesday we did manage to get out for a nice walk in the woods on the Roanoke Canal Trail.  It’s almost 8 miles long beginning at the dam of the Roanoke Rapids Lake and ending in the town of Weldon.  It sort of parallels the Roanoke River.  We of course, did not walk the whole trail.  It’s divided into a few segments with parking in various locations.  We started at the Roanoke Canal Museum and walked the 1.5 miles to the dam and back for a total of 3 miles.  It took us about 3 hours since we like to stop to find beauty in the ordinary.  Remember those fish statues around town?  Well here’s one at the Museum that looks like a real Rockfish…a really big rockfish!
Fish breath!

We didn’t go in the Museum because we wanted to take our time on the trail, but I did get a few shots of some of their outside features.  Many years ago when the Roanoke River was the main highway for the area, supplies came upriver until they reached this stretch where the rapids were just a bit to rough for the boats to handle.  That’s where the Canal and these Batteaux Boats came in.  They were pulled into the narrow Canal Locks to bypass the rapids.
Roanoke Canal Museum  Batteaux at Canal Museum
Roanoke Canal...middle locks  Canal Museum and Locks

After taking a look at the posted map, we began our trek to the beginning point at the Roanoke Rapids Lake.
Canal Trail Map  Roanoke Canal Trail

It’s a beautiful trail with English Ivy growing on both sides and the bright green of Spring all around us.
English Ivy everywhere!  Roanoke Canal Trail

There are several informational signs posted along the route about the trees and plants in the area along with information about the old Canal and Power Station that were used in the 1800’s.
IMG_1030  IMG_1038

Here’s the Power Canal Bulkhead.  There was a picture there showing the lake formed by the bulkhead that was dated around 1940.  It was drained when a new Hydroelectric Plant was built about that time.  I think it’s interesting how quickly nature can reclaim the land once it is left alone by man.
Power Canal Bulkhead

A little further along we came upon an old Canal Culvert.  At first I thought there were some pieces of black plastic in the rocks but upon closer observation, thought about the Indiana Jones movies.
Navagation Canal Culverts  Culvert close up...four black snakes

We found a nice bench to sit on and enjoy our picnic lunch at the open end of Rochelle Pond.  We both grew up here and have spent a little bit of time riding our bikes under the power lines as kids so it brought back some memories.
IMG_1032  Rochelle Pond

Speaking of the power lines,  some of the trail skirts along the edge of the wood line and the power line clearing.  It’s nice that the town can make use of this otherwise unusable land.  An Osprey found a way to use the power lines too.  Gin got a distant shot of one in a pine tree with a fish in his talons.
Ospey Nest  Osprey with lunch

Although the color for the day was definitely green,  we did see a few wild flowers.  Here is some Yellow Jasmine and some Coral Honeysuckle.  As a kid I used to get that sweet nectar drop out of a honeysuckle flower quite often.
Yellow Jasmine  Coral Honeysuckle 

We managed to make it to the Roanoke Rapids Lake and the Hydroelectric Plant at the dam.  If you notice the Yellow Forsythia on the bank in the next picture, that’s where my brother and his wife live.  Hey Doug and Carla!  Your raised bed gardens look nice!
IMG_1057  Roanoke Rapids Lake

There is a city park here that is closed on Monday and Tuesday.  It has a nice beach area for swimming in the lake and a nice disc golf course.  The Power Plant is all fenced off now but I can remember as a kid that you used to be able to walk out pretty close to the dam.  I guess I’ll just have fun climbing on the old turbine.

IMG_1053  Hydraulic Turbine

It was a good day for a walk in the woods but it was time to head back to the car and then home for a shower.  I’m glad we got a chance to enjoy part of this trail.  We may have to try another section some other time.  We did see some other folks enjoying it also on their bikes or jogging with their dogs.  Thanks for joining us!


Paul and Marti Dahl said...

"Snakes, why does it always have to be snakes?" I guess since that wall was full of black snakes, you didn't have to worry about poisonous ones.

Lovely little adventure, nice pictures. Great fun watching those snowbirds, do they all have Ontario license plates?

Glad you're not one of them. :c)

Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

I agree with Paul and Marti :) You know I have to FF through those sn*** pictures!
Other than that, looks like you had a fabulous day :)

Sherry said...

Great pictures and an interesting hike. Glad to see you two out and about!

Nancy and Bill said...

What a beautiful day!! I think that was a perfect place for snakes...keep'em on the rock cliff and off the trail;o))

Glad you guys are out and enjoying the beautiful trail!!

Travelwithwhippets said...

I hate snakes.

Happytrails said...

What a beautiful spring day to be out on the trail in the woods enjoying nature in it's beauty! Glad you had a good hike and spend a good part of the day outside!