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Goose Creek Hikes

posted Dec 1, 2018, 4:43 PM by Justin P   [ updated Dec 3, 2018, 3:12 PM ]

Saturday, we took Alex for a day hike to Goose Creek State Park.  First, we stopped at the visitor center to get Alex's passport stamped.

The park had taken some damage hiking Hurricane Florence and the far end of Palmetto Boardwalk was closed.  So we did this one as an out and back.  The boardwalk leads through a beautiful swamp and then a more open marsh area.

At the caution tape was our turnaround point.  Since the boardwalk doesn't connect to the other trails we parked at Ivey Gut Trailhead and started hiking Tar Kiln Trail.  As the name suggests, the trail passes the remains of several old tar kilns. Some were hard to discern with all the newly fallen trees.  At the end we turned left on Mallard Creek Trail and went out to the overlook.

From here, we got on Live Oak Trail to head towards the beach on Pamlico River.  I think this is the nicest part of the park and that's saying a lot.

Live oaks with branches draped in Spanish moss hang over the Pamlico River.

We found a nice spot to sit and have a break enjoying the views.

Past the Swim Beach, we took Goose Creek Trail that parallels Pamlico towards its namesake.  Boardwalks traverse a gum and cypress swamp.

Although most of the leaves were down, there were still a few patches of color.

At the far end, there is a tree with the ground around it completely eroded away, but it's still standing strong - even with another tree haven fallen on it.  Past the campsites is a canoe launch for Goose Creek.

We backtracked a short ways and then got on Ivey Gut Trail.  We did the loop with a couple spots to go out for views of Goose Creek.

There was a lion's mane mushroom growing on the tree here.

Some of the boardwalks here had been damaged by the hurricane, but were passable.  This trail finished back up at our parking lot.  One the way home, we stopped at Flower Hill Nature Preserve in Johnston County, so Alex could get a hike for TLC challenge.

It was raining now, but only lightly.  We hiked out to the end of the property and back.  The south-facing bluffs along Moccasin Creek support an unusual population of Catawba rhododendron.

They weren't blooming now, but are still noticeable.  The only leaves that were still orange were the beech trees.

We finished the hike back at the car and drove the rest of the way home.