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Goldsboro Hikes

posted Feb 11, 2018, 2:31 PM by Justin P   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 3:30 PM ]
Saturday, Sandy and I took Alex for a couple hikes out near Goldsboro.  Sandy had to work in the evening so we left early, arriving at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park around 830.  It rained a bit on the drive down and was raining lightly when we started hiking, but fizzled out after twenty minutes or so.  After getting our stuff together, we swung by the overlook of the Neuse River, way down below at the base of the cliffs 90 feet below.

With the rain and warmer temperatures, the river was really steamy.  We started hiking the 350 Yard Trail along the rim of the cliffs.  I found one spot to go out with a view of the cliffs themselves.

Other than that, I think the only way to actually see the cliffs is from a boat on the river.  The trail then headed down to river level and I went out to a fishing spot.

The rain had picked up a bit and I couldn't see much on the river.  This is the the point where Mill Creek and Still Creek flow into Neuse River and there was a Cypress swamp here.

Finishing up this trail, we turned left and took Bird Trail.  At the split, there was a scenic little cascade on Still Creek.

This trail makes a half-mile loop around the creek.  Next we hiked Galax Trail, another half-mile loop and passed another Cypress swamp.

After finishing up this loop, we tried to get on the Lake Trail.  The park map shows a connector between Galax and Lake Trails, but not sure if we actually found it.  It's a short ways and we just bushwhacked down to the lake spillway and picked up the Lake Trail along the shore.  I first crossed the spillway on stepping stones and got some pictures of the lake.

With some fog, it was really beautiful.  Then we headed the other way towards the visitor center.  I spotted some interesting orange mushrooms along the trail.

And for the first time today, we actually saw other people out on the trail as we approached the visitor center.  Next, we crossed the street and took Longleaf Trail to the end and turned right on the Sand Path to the Group Camping site.  Then we made a loop around Spanish Moss Trail.

It's a short loop but rather steep as it goes up a cliff and then loops back around along the floodplain.  I followed a path out to the river.  It was very muddy but the foggy views of the river were great.

There were more cypress trees here - they were such a contrast with the steep terrain just feet away.

I thought that this contrast really made Cliffs of the Neuse a unique and interesting state park.  We finished back up at the parking and I stopped for one more picture from the overlook as the fog had cleared a bit.

Then we took off.  On the way out, we stopped at the visitor center.  Alex has been having so much fun hiking at state parks, I picked him up a NC Passport!  Then we headed back towards Goldsboro and went to Old Waynesborough Park.  This used to be a state park, but is now managed by the Old Waynesborough Commission.  Waynesborough was the original Wayne County seat.  With the advent of railroad, Goldsboro grew and many homes and businesses relocated.  The last of Waynesborough was destroyed by Union troops during the civil war.  We parked at the trailhead parking and started out on the Orange/Yellow/Blue Trail, hiking through some fields to Cogdell Cemetery.

It's a really pretty old cemetery and the only thing remaining of the original Waynesborough.

Continuing on the trail, we went all the way out on the Orange Loop to an overlook at Little River near the confluence with Neuse River.

Looping back around, we followed along the river most of the way back.

We could see and definitely hear, people riding ATVs across the river.  We also passed by another small cypress swamp before getting back to the cemetery.

Without the steep cliffs, this one seemed a little more expected.  Then we went out to the floating dock with nice views of a bend in the Neuse River.

We finished up the Red Loop and then took the combined trail to the Historical Village to see some of the old buildings.  Right in the woods was an old hay barn.

Then the trail opened up a bit more and there were several more buildings.

They're not from the original Wayneborough, but from throughout Wayne County.

There were a couple of one-room schools, a law office, a general store, a doctor's office and several homes.

It was a cool little village to walk through.

After some pictures of the old buildings, we headed back to the car.  We stopped at Cook Out before leaving Goldsboro to get lunch and a hot dog for Alex and then made the drive home.