The Dan River Basin Association’s (DRBA) April 3 First Saturday Outing will be a 3-mile hike over rolling terrain at Knight-Brown Nature Preserve near Belews Lake in Rockingham County, N.C.
Hikers gathering at 9:30 a.m. at the trailhead, 221 Waterfield Lane, Stokesdale, N.C., will be met by coordinator Will Truslow, a DRBA board member and an avid hiker.
Truslow also is a board member of Piedmont Land Conservancy, which owns and developed the 180-acre property. Numerous volunteers have donated their time and energy building the trails, which are part of the Rockingham County Pathways Plan.
According to the conservancy, the preserve “showcases a wooded valley, two gently rippling streams, many different types of ferns, spring wildflowers and the rare eastern leatherwood shrub.”
On this early spring walk, trees will be beginning to leaf out, and some of the wildflowers may grace the forest floor.
“This preserve has the feeling of being in the mountains. There is a beautiful stream, called Mountain Creek, which runs down the middle and flows into Belews Creek,” Truslow said. “There are lots of mature beech, hickory and oak trees, along with many ferns and spring flowers.”
In addition to its walking trails, the preserve has an informational kiosk at the trailhead, picnic tables, and several benches along the trails. The property is in the watershed of Belews Lake, which provides cooling for Duke Energy’s largest coal-fired power plant and is used for recreational boating and fishing. Below the lake, Belews Creek joins the Dan River.
Land for the Knight-Brown Nature Preserve was donated by Cecilia Brown, who inherited the property from her partner, Paul Knight. Brown, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, fulfilled Knight’s wish that development would not take place on the beautiful acreage near his former home in Stokesdale.
Participants in the outing should dress in layers of synthetic fabric, wear hiking boots, and bring walking stick, lunch and water. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver.
For safety, and to comply with state guidelines, participants are required to wear a facemask that covers nose and mouth and adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the hike.
Outings and meetings of the Dan River Basin Association are open to the public without charge. For membership and other information about DRBA, visit www.danriver.org.
For more information about the trip, call Truslow at 336-547-1903, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.