Winter Walks

'Rue des Boulangers'

On the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail

Click on any image to see a larger (1500 x 1000 pixel) version!

60% of North Carolina's land area is covered with forests; that comes to about 29,000 square miles (75,100 square kilometers), or six times the land area of Connecticut. It's no wonder, then, that there is no shortage of hikes through wooded areas! But one doesn't have to go very far: right within the Raleigh city limits or just outside the Hillsborough boundaries, one can find lovely and easy to walk trails. As we spent the year-end holidays in North Carolina in 2012 and 2013, we got to experience some of these areas in the winter; the leafless deciduous trees lend a particular charm to the woods, as do the often gray skies and resulting muted colors.

Abbots Creek Trail, December 25, 2012

Abbots Creek Trail is part of the Neuse River Greenway Trail located in the north of Raleigh.
Photos number 33 through 42 in this gallery show what this area looks like a couple of months earlier.


Off the paved trail... ...the terrain is wet...

Off the paved trail...

...the terrain is wet...


...or otherwise uninviting... ...and it sure doesn't look like Christmas!

...or otherwise uninviting...

...and it sure doesn't look like Christmas!


Reflection Rivulet

Reflection

Rivulet


Marshland Cory

Marshland

Cory


Neuse River Trail and Falls Lake, December 24, 2013

This area, too, is part of the Neuse River Greenway Trail. Additional photos of this Christmas Eve walk
may be found in this gallery. Falls Lake was created by building a dam and is a very popular recreational ara.


Neuse River Looking upstream

Neuse River

Looking upstream

Along Upper Neuse River Greenway Falls of Neuse Road Bridge

Along Upper Neuse River Greenway

Falls of Neuse Road Bridge


Into the woods On the way to the lake

Into the woods

On the way to the lake


First glimpse of the lake Falls Lake

First glimpse of the lake

Falls Lake


By the shore Contre-jour tree tops Bark

By the shore

Contre-jour tree tops

Bark


Back at the Neuse, looking downstream On the way back to the parking lot

Back at the Neuse, looking downstream

On the way back to the parking lot


Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail, December 28, 2013

Moving further west, we find the Eno river which, together with two smaller rivers, becomes the Neuse at Falls Lake. The Occoneechee
Mountain Area
is a rather small park with short trails, perfect for a late December afternoon stroll (we didn't get there until about 3 p.m.).


Just north of Route 85 Winter woods

Just north of Route 85

Winter woods


Off the beaten track Back on the trail

Off the beaten track

Back on the trail


The sun makes a timid appearance Going down towards the Eno Near the Eno River, it gets a bit muddy

The sun makes a timid appearance

Going down towards the Eno

Near the Eno River, it gets a bit muddy


The Eno Old rowboat

The Eno

Old rowboat


Deadwood The old quarry

Deadwood

The old quarry


Summit Looking down on the Eno

Summit

Looking down on the Eno





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