Currituck’s Maple Park
For the most part, I find my adventure destinations through the Internet. Perhaps I read an article about a trail or spied an interesting destination on geocaching.com or noted a neat looking field at Google maps. But one of my favorite area spots, Currituck County’s Maple Park, was uncovered in a much more old fashioned manner. Word of Mouth.
Maple Park is only 15 miles away from my home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina but I learned about it from two fellow hikers on the Appalachian Trail…240 miles away! 🙂
The park is located right by Currituck County Airport and features a skate park, a baseball field, walking trail around a pond and my favorite part– a network of hiking and horse trails through a forested canopy and open fields. I made my third visit with Ryan and the dogs earlier this month.
If you want to keep it simple, you can stay on the 0.4 mile paved path and walk along the park facilities and pond.
Feeling more adventurous? The trails can also take you into the forest, past ponds and canals, through fields, past the Sheriff’s Shooting Range and very close to the airport.
The trees are typical to the area– Bald Cypress, American Beech and Water Oak. We also saw flowering bushes, beautiful mushrooms and a special oddity which warrants its own section below.
On this particular hike, we got to greet a special guest! A Red Belly Watersnake.
The most exciting find on the hike was this little specimen in the forest near the trailhead.
Ghost Flowers are a haunting white because they don’t have any chlorophyll. That means they can’t make their own energy through photosynthesis. So they steal it! They snag their nutrients from fungus which in turn steals it from trees. As Clint pointed out, the trees are taking their energy from the sun. So we are all little energy thieves one way or another.
Beautiful Maple Park is well worth a visit. Just like the two hikers I heard about it from, I’m passing it on via my blog and…good ole fashioned word of mouth.
|Maple Park Trails
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Directions from Elizabeth City, NC
From Water Street, turn on US-158 E/Elizabeth Street towards Camden
In about five miles, bear right to stay on US-158 E
You can get to the trail from the upper parking lot.
After eight miles, you’ll pass the airport. Take the first left on Airport Road.
Maple Park and parking will be on your right.