The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) invites the public to participate in its First Saturday Outing on Dec. 7: a 3.2-mile hike on the Great Blue Heron Loop Trail in Iron Ore Belt Access of Haw River State Park, 6068 North Church St., Greensboro, North Carolina.
Participants will meet at 10 a.m. at the public parking lot at the end of the North Church Street entrance road. Coordinator for the outing is Dr. Will Truslow, an avid hiker and DRBA board member. The easy to moderate hike passes through a variety of ecosystems. Its southern path includes meadows and upland mature Piedmont forests of pine and hardwoods. The northern portion of the trail drops down and overlooks extensive wetlands that border the Haw River.
Opened to the public in 2016, Iron Ore Belt Access is located near the northern end of the North Carolina Piedmont’s iron ore deposits. From the 1770s to 1798, ore from the area’s mines was taken to Troublesome Creek Ironworks in Rockingham County for processing.
During a second period of activity in the 1870s and 1880s the ore was shipped to a foundry on the western side of Greensboro. Some mining pits have been located on or near the park property, and veins of iron are found along ridge lines, which yield pebble- to boulder-sized rocks with deep red lines running through them.
Participants in the outing are asked to bring lunch, water and hiking poles and wear hiking boots or walking shoes. Dress in layers of synthetic fabric or wool and be prepared for wind or rain. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.
DIRECTIONS: To reach the park from US 220 (I-73), turn east onto US 158. Drive 7.9 miles, and turn right onto Church Street Ext. Drive 0.8 miles to the park entrance on the left.
From US 29 south of Reidsville, take Exit 145 onto US 29 Business. Drive 0.5 mile north, and turn left onto Flat Rock Road. Drive 4.8 miles, and turn left onto US 158. Drive 3.5 miles and turn left onto Church Street Ext. Drive 0.8 miles to the park entrance on the left.
From Greensboro, drive north on North Church Street. Cross NC 150, and continue for 1.4 miles. The park entrance is on the right.
Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.danriver.org.