I had some time off so I drove over to a spot near Lexington NC to see a park I'd heard about. It's called Boone's Cave Park and was once part of the state park system. However, it was owned by the state because it was claimed that Daniel Boone had lived at this location for a while. In his journals, he mentions that he lived in the Yadkin River Valley and had stayed for a time in a cave above the river and later built a cabin on the bluff overlooking the river where he lived for two years.
The locals claim that this place is the only location along the Yadkin River where such a cave exists and that they knew the location of the cabin. However, after the park was established no archeologist could ever verify that Boone (or anyone else) had lived either in the cave or at the site where the locals claimed Daniel Boone resided.
Therefore, after a while North Carolina removed the state park designation for the site and just kept it as state property with few improvements. In 2003 the state sold the 100-acre park to the Davidson County government. They have done a lot with the park and it's an interesting place, even if Daniel Boone never really lived there.
Bluffs stand high above the Yadkin River at this location. There is a point above the cave where you can stand and look down at the river and the lower opposing bank. The cave itself is of geologic interest as an outcropping of the local sandstone. Catawba rhododendron actually grows here--I've often noted that rhododendron will thrive in the Piedmont, but only if it can find rocky soil and steep slopes on which to grow. The cave here is such a place.
But the main reason I wanted to go to the park was that I'd heard that it had a particularly impressive cottonwood tree. I'm always on the lookout of notable old trees, so this was high on my list to view. When I got to the park I found that the river was up due to recent rains and also because the sluice gates had been opened on the dam upriver from the park. The park superintendent told me that the trail I was going to use to access the big tree was underwater and was unsafe so I had to take another route to find it.
And I'm glad that I did make the hike in. The tree was almost as impressive as the press had made it out to be. It has a very large circumference, but I doubt the claims of the park propagandists that it's "over 157 feet tall". I don't own a range finder to measure such trees (something I need to get in the future), but I've seen trees that have been measured to be in that range, and this one did not seem nearly that tall. But I could be wrong.
At any rate, if you have part of a day to spend hiking about and resting you could do a lot worse than Boone's Cave Park in Davidson County near Lexington.