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Fall into a Your Rowan Autumn

by | Nov 2, 2022 | Greenspace

I love autumn.  In fact, October is my favorite color!  I love everything about fall…. pumpkins, spices, apples, fire pits, and the beautiful changing colors.  Most importantly, my four-legged friends love being outside and enjoying the crisp autumn air.  This month I would like to share with you some things you can do with family, friends, and our fur babies! 

The beautiful foliage and milder weather make it perfect for exploring our beautiful Rowan County. When I think of fall all my senses kick into overdrive.  Crisp autumn days in Your Rowan is a great place to enjoy the beautiful changing colors, relax and just rejuvenate.   

Patterson Farm

What are good fall activities?

Find a pumpkin patch, look around you at the beautiful foliage, sip on some apple cider, or get lost in a corn maze. One of my favorites is to take a hike, so let’s take a hike together!

Stanback Preserve

As a Catawba graduate, a favorite place to get out and get away from the noise is the Fred Stanback Jr.  Ecological Preserve located behind the CENV (Center for the Environment). Here you can immerse yourself in 189 acres of nature at its best.  There are so many sights and sounds to discover on your walk.  Whether it’s birds chirping high in the trees, squirrels scurrying through the leaves in search of nuts, or a deer standing at attention when it hears you approach, the preserve is full of autumn wonders.  It’s not unusual in the early mornings or late afternoon to meet a neighbor enjoying of the walking trails or to see students in class or just reading a book. The Stanback preserve is teaming with wildlife, it is home to deer, opossums, squirrels, raccoons, gray foxes, as well as coyotes. Thanks to a purchase by the LandTrust of 300 acres adjacent to the preserver, this wildlife refuge is the largest undeveloped tract of land in Rowan County.

Stanback Preserve

Elizabeth Stanback Wildlife Garden

One of the showcases of the CENV is the Elizabeth Stanback Wildlife Garden.  This garden has over 160 native plant species and surrounds the CENV. The Stanback Wildlife Garden not only provides a natural habitat for butterflies, insects, birds, and other wildlife but also provides a learning laboratory for Catawba students. A trendsetter in gardens, the CENV practices environmental stewardship in maintenance.  Pests and diseases in the plants are controlled by environmentally friendly alternatives.  

Salisbury Greenway

The CENV has long been a leader in educating not only our community but our state as well.   

An excellent example is that The Center for the Environment was instrumental in the development of the Salisbury Greenway System.  It was created to help us develop into a community that is not only walkable but welcoming for other recreational activities such as running, biking, and skateboarding.  The Greenway was created to provide an area where everyone can enjoy active outdoor recreation.  

The Greenway stretches from the Catawba College Ecological Preserve into the city of Salisbury, where we move from the environmental to the built environment, and was created to allow its visitors to enjoy both natural areas as well as the built areas around it that seemingly blend right in.  Enjoy the covered bridge with it gurgling water below it and dam where you may be lucky enough to spot all sorts of wildlife.  Even your four-legged friends will enjoy the sights and sounds of the Greenway!

Salisbury Greenway

City Park

City Park, conveniently located in the heart of Salisbury, offers something for everyone. It features a long pier leading to a large deck in the center of the four-acre lake.  Three beautiful walks will take you past benches, a climbing wall, six pickleball courts, four tennis courts, picnic shelters, and grills just waiting for you to fire up a delicious picnic.  It’s a wonderful place to take your family for a fun-filled and relaxing day.

Dunn’s Mountain Park

One of my favorite places to hike is Dunn’s Mountain Park.  It’s the newest park in Rowan County with full of beautiful views, picnic shelters, long range binoculars, a blacksmith shed, and restrooms. It’s a great place to take your entire family.  It’s an easy hike to the top of the mountain with clean, well-kept trails.  Once there you will be treated to amazing views of our county and beyond.  If you need assistance, they offer transportation to the top on Saturdays and Sundays.  The staff is not only knowledgeable, but very polite. Hours vary by month/season.

The park was established with a donation from Friends of the Mountain, a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant, and the generosity of The Land Trust for Central North Carolina. It includes 83 acres of land protected under a Conservation Easement with the Land Trust for Central North Carolina.

Dunn’s Mountain Park

Sculpture Show 2022-2023

If you’re in the mood to stay closer to town, take a hike, grab a brochure, and gather friends, family, or just yourself, and visit the 2022 Sculpture Show.  Running from May 2022 through April 2023, it features the works of Matt Amante, Carl Billingsley, Jim Collins, Richard Conn, Robert Coon, Jim Gallucci, Hanna Jubran, Dean Leary, Roger Martin, Jason Morris, Jordan Parah, Charles Pilkey, Richard Pitts, Silo AR+D, and Wayne Vaughn.  The Sculpture Show meanders through downtown Salisbury, and anyone can begin their self-guided tour by picking up a brochure at the Visitor’s Center, 204 E. Innes Street. Inside the brochure, participants will find a map, information about each sculpture, and instructions to download the free Otocast app which provides an audio tour and interactive map. Brochures are also available at the Rowan County Public Library, Rowan Museum, Waterworks Visual Arts Center, and at local downtown businesses, restaurants and galleries.

Gold Leaf by Richard Pitts

Fall Family Fun

What says fall better than a pumpkin patch and a corn maze?  If you’re looking for a day to enjoy outdoor activities with the family, look no further than Patterson Farm. Admission includes PawPaw Carl’s Playground, the Barnyard, a Cow Barrel Train Ride, the Corn Maze, a Wagon Ride, and more than forty attractions.

The Patterson family has been farming in Rowan County for 125 years and is six generations strong. Each year, we produce more than 200 acres of tomatoes, pick-your-own strawberries, locally grown vegetables, and holiday poinsettias.

Located at 10390 Caldwell Road in Mount Ulla, Patterson Farm is a fall tradition in Rowan County.

Fall Family Fun at Patterson Farm

Fall Family Fun at Patterson Farm

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About The Author

Colleen Smiley

I am a proud graduate of Catawba College, and I also have my state Environmental Educators certification. I love spending time outdoors with my family and friends. I enjoy kayaking, hiking, boating, cooking, and entertaining. If there is a live theatre production going on, I am there. I think you can find beauty anywhere you look here in Rowan County. Life is an adventure, and I can’t wait to share my love of everything green, sustainable, or environmental with all of you. Everywhere we look there really are some amazing places to see and discover in Rowan County. I’m excited about the chance to meet so many people and discover the sites of our beautiful county with all of you. It’s Your Rowan!