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Lower Haw River Hike

posted Dec 22, 2017, 3:45 PM by Justin P   [ updated Dec 22, 2017, 3:46 PM ]
I had Friday off for the holiday weekend, so Sandy and I took Alex to Lower Haw River State Natural Area for a hike.  We took US-64 west past Jordan Lake and once across Haw River, made a U-turn, crossing the river again in the eastbound direction.  A small pull-off was on the right immediately back across the river.  We parked here and followed a trail down towards the river and under the highway.  There's no official trail, but the "social" trail was very easy to follow the river upstream.  The Haw is very rocky and the water level was low so there were a number of spots to head out into the river for a picture.

Soon we came to the first of three tributary crossings.  The water level was low, but the banks were steep so we had to go upstream a little ways to find a way across.  There were a lot of downed tree over the trail, which I would have expected given the trail is not maintained.  But there's another reason there are so many trees down - beavers.

The beavers had clearly been busy taking down trees along the river here.  A little further up, we came to a real scenic cascades in the river next to an island.

Continuing north, we reached the last creek crossing at Pokeberry Creek.  Unlike the previous ones, this creek had a good amount of water.

We followed the path upstream a ways to where we could get down to creek level and rock hop across.  From here it was only another mile or so to the north trailhead in Bynum.  When we got here, we continued a little further to the Old Bynum Bridge.  In the past, cars could drive over, but the barricaded it so only pedestrians can cross now.  We went out on the bridge to where we could see the US-15/US-501 bridge over the Haw River.

A little further back, there was a nice view of the river where the road was not visible.

We had a snack and then started making our way back.  All three of us had worked up an appetite by the time we got back, so we stopped at Grill and Go and got lunch, including a hot dog for Alex.