This was the first scheduled hike that I signed up for with the Cary Hiking Meetup Group. While Raven Rock State Park is a bit of a drive from Cary, many have spoken highly of this park. There are a number of trails offering about 12 miles, most of it rated easy.
Unfortunately on this day the temps were in the upper 30s and it started raining shortly before the scheduled meeting time. I decided to go anyway hoping that a few brave souls would still make the journey. Unfortunately I didn’t end up meeting up with anyone from the group. I decided to hike anyway so I grabbed a copy of the trail guide and went on my way. I chose to take the Campbell Creek Loop Trail which is 5 miles rated moderate. At the far end of the loop there is also a short side trails that leads to Lanier Falls which offers some great views.
Despite the temperatures I really enjoyed the hike and was perfectly comfortable. I chose to go clockwise around the loop which had me start off walking through the woods. There was some light elevation changes and a few small streams to cross. Along the way I found this really cool spot. There is a giant rock shelf with a waterfall.
About the halfway point through the loop I took an opportunity to walk the side trail to Lanier Falls along the Cape Fear river. The trail leads down about 100 feet to the river. With it being wet I had trouble finding a good spot for pictures, but there is a small waterfall and then a decent size island that is about 100′ by 100′. If it were summer and a bit warmer I would have liked to try to see if I could have reached the island. I’m sure the views are great from that spot.
About 3 miles into the hike I’m really hitting my stride and feeling good. It really is a good day to be on the trail and I am really glad that I didn’t back out.
The remainder of the Campbell Creek Loop Trail follows Campbell Creek back to the starting point. It is an interesting creek that feeds the Cape Fear River and offers a number of rock embankments. Here are some additional pics I captured where the creek meets the Cape Fear river.
Raven Rock also offers a number of primitive camping options. One of the sites is off of the Campbell Creek Loop so I plan on returning in the spring to try out some new gear before I try and of the bigger parks up in the mountains.
I really like this park and plan to return. It is a nice place for a workout and offers some nice sights.