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An Absolute Gem: Eagle Point Nature

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Greenspace

Preserve

Driving down the somewhat hidden, rocky entrance, I could hear nothing that connected me to society. My hike began on a cool afternoon. I could smell the damp earth, and feel a cool breeze from the shaking fall leaves. Large pines are visible in all directions. Critters prepare for cooler weather and gather materials for their homes. Visiting the Eagle Point Nature Preserve here in Rowan County opens your eyes to the great outdoors.

With such a crazy time the past two years have been, this is exactly what I needed. A time to reset. To get off of social media and to not think about anything but what is in front of me. This location is particularly gorgeous and somewhat isolated. Quiet, which I think is nice. It has a canoe and kayak access point, places to get down and picnic, and three loop trails that are connected to one another (See the map).

Trail Map available at entrance.

Plant I.D. Loop Trail.

Entrance to the Eagle Point Nature Preserve.

Background

Address: 665 Black Road Salisbury, NC 28146

Seasonal Hours Available Here

EPNP was officially opened on June 16, 2001. “The Eagle Point Nature Preserve includes 100 acres of deeded land and approximately 100 acres of land on long-term lease from Yadkin Power Generating Incorporated, a division of the Aluminum Company of America (ROCO Parks and Rec).”

The land has since been donated to Rowan County citizens by the Land Trust for Central North Carolina, local investors and foundations initially purchased the land. It is intended by the Land Trust to keep this land in pristine quality for land preservation and citizen use purposes.

About the Trail

This trail consists of three loops. The first 0.07 mile loop you will encounter is called the “Plant ID Loop Trail”. On this portion of the trail, there are tree identification cards attached to various trees. Short leaf pine is a very common tree, but you will become acquainted with a handful of hardwoods. This is a promising feature to the aspiring naturalists and youth that pass through the wooded trail. If you, the navigator, decide to veer left, you will encounter vernal pools. Vernal pools are seasonal pools that serve as habitat for a variety of species of birds and amphibians throughout their life stages.

The following trail is called the Golden Cove Trail which is 1.25 miles in length. This trail provides some lakefront views near Heron Cove. You will encounter benches, take a seat and enjoy the view.

Golden Cove Trail connects to Point Loop Trail which is roughly 1.2 miles. This portion of the trail has some breathtaking views of High Rock Lake. You will see some developments across the lake and some fishers in their boats. They seem to enjoy the peace of the area too.

Acorn Plum Gall Wasp Identification from Seek.

My Observations list from Seek.

Chinese Mystery Snail Shell.

Attire and Notes from my Visits

The first time that I visited this spot, I wore sneakers. I would highly recommend wearing hiking boots if you can in order to best navigate the trail. Clothing-wise, I was perfectly fine in some shorts and a sweatshirt. I would also recommend bringing some water and the map if you plan to trek the entire loop. Additionally, biking is allowed on this trail. I plan on taking my bike for a spin-out there sometime soon.

My Favorite I.D. App: Seek

I used my favorite app for plant and fungi identification called Seek. I was able to identify more than ten species of plants, fungi, and insects. I know, the hypocrisy. I said I didn’t go on my phone. But I did, in the name of science!

One particularly cool find I added to my observations list is the Acorn Plum Gall Wasp (Amphibolips quercusjuglans). This is a member of the Gall Wasp Family that lays their eggs on acorn tops. The acorn then forms a pinkish coloration and the egg is protected within the strong acorn material. It is so neat how insects can utilize the growth of tree parts as reproduction tools!

To use the app, simply take a picture of the organism on your phone, or navigate through the app. If you are using the app to take the picture, it will attempt to identify your specimen and provide as specific identification as it can. Some identifications will not be as correct, or specific as you may like. That is when you have to research what you have found by looking up defining characteristics of your organism. The identification will then be added to your observations gallery where it will keep a record of your identifications. Throughout the duration of you using the app, you will earn badges and be able to identify plants, fungi, and animals around you! People of all ages can use this app with ease. All you need is a smartphone and to download the Seek app that is available for both Apple and Android.

On the preserve, you will notice so much wildlife around you. Animals I came across on my walks included:

  • Great Blue Herons
  • Squirrels
  • Chinese Mystery Snails
  • A variety of unidentified mollusks
  • Egrets
  • Songbirds
  • Fish

Please Visit!

Sadly, litter is present on the banks of the preserve. Litter that has washed up from the waterways, lost flip flops, alcoholic beverage bottles, balloons, plastics, and disposables that people have forgotten about. These forgotten items negatively impact wildlife and the aesthetic of this beautiful spot. Is a fun time worth harming wildlife for years to come?

Ever since I visited Eagle Point Nature Preserve, I have come back every weekend. It brings me a sense of peace after a long week. I would highly recommend this place to detox, or even learn more about the great outdoors. Be sure to bring your family, a bag and some gloves to collect litter, or maybe a book.

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About The Author

Madison Kluge

You might see me on the city of Salisbury’s greenways sporting a pair of rainbow roller skates! I officially graduate(d) May 2021 from the Environment & Sustainability program at Catawba College and I have/will soon take on the role as Salisbury’s Sustainability Coordinator. At Catawba, I researched the Emerald Ash Borer for a couple of years, spearheaded campus composting, and became heavily involved with environmental education planning. My goal as a connector is to establish a non-formal greenspace pedagogy with you and navigate the great outdoors by engaging with a variety of local farmers, NPO’s, parks, trails, preserves, educational institutions, and sustainable events. I will also explore available technologies/ apps that enhance our experience of the great outdoors in plant and animal identification and citizen science initiatives. To my fellow nature and environmental enthusiasts: get to know Rowan County better with me in the evolving greenspaces. Let’s get dirt under our nails!