The Davidson Lands Conservancy sponsored a hike to Mecklenburg County’s West Branch Nature Preserve on May 19, 2012. Thirty-five people attended ranging in age from 7 to 70, and a great time was had by all.
Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation naturalists Chris Matthews, Lenny Lampley, and Reid Patterson led hikers from the West Branch Greenway into the West Branch Wetland and on to the Rocky River. Their explanations of animals and fauna helped bring the trail to life.
The West Branch Nature Preserve was created in 2009 when Mecklenburg County bought 91 acres from the developers of the Summer’s Walk neighborhood using open space bonds that had been approved by voters. While the wetland itself was not slated for development, much of the surrounding ecosystem would have been replaced with houses had the Davidson Lands Conservancy and Mecklenburg County not seen the value in buying this land. Our Executive Direction, Roy Alexander, was rightly named Mecklenburg County’s Conservationist of the Year in 2009 for his efforts in securing the West Branch Wetland.
The West Branch Wetland is accessed by taking the West Branch greenway to its southern terminus, then walking on the hard surface trail about 1.25 miles. The hard surface trail was constructed with a grant from the Carolina Thread Trail. This trail is suitable only for walking. Bikes and runners are welcome on the asphalt greenway trail, but walking only please on the dirt trail.
Thanks to the naturalists and all who attended this enjoyable hike!