Monday, March 31, 2014

The Big Rock! THE BIG ROCK!

When I don't have time to go off to the mountains I look around for smaller local parks that I haven't seen. One county park that I'd heard about for years but had never visited is Big Rock Nature Preserve. It's a 22-acre patch of hardwood forest on a hilltop in the south of Charlotte. And it's called "Big Rock" for a reason...there is a freaking big-ass rock there.

It was cool to see it, and to walk around in the forest and take a look at the creek that runs through there. They say that arrowheads and other ancient Indian tools sometimes can be found along the forest floor. One thing that struck me about the little park was the level of noise from motor vehicles from the nearby outerbelt (I-485). When you're walking around in the trees you can hear the vehicles. But when you climb up on the big rock, the noise is almost deafening.

It was a pleasant excursion. I think I'll go back and see it again one of these days.

Below the Big Rock.

Park entrance.

Historical information.

Recently installed footbridge.

And there it is! That big ol' rock! The black marks on it are to cover graffiti placed there by local assholes.

There's a very large poplar tree growing, wedged between two of the big rock formations.

Base of the gnarly old poplar.

From atop the biggest rock. If you fell from here, it would hurt you to death.

Little grotto between the biggest rocks.
The constant noise of vehicle traffic (from I-485) is maddening.


stan said...

I must return to view the new signage and bridge! Hopefully the county will take good care of this oddity, while letting it remain somewhat of a secret.

Kent Tankersley said...

Very cool. Looks like a really big glacial erratic -- I wonder if glaciers reached that far south. Too bad about the car noise, though.

James Robert Smith said...

@Stan. From older photos I've seen, they've made some improvements at the site.

@Kent: Nope. No glaciers this far south. There is some evidence that there was a local glacier on Tanawha (Grandfather Mountain) and that the "Boone Bowl" formation on that peak is in fact a glacial cirque. I've also heard some folk claim that there's a glacial cirque on Mount LeConte, but have read no official work on that.

It's an erratic, for sure. But not glacial.

Kirk G said...

Was it REALLY necessary for them to build a new footbridge over what appears to be only a slight depression in the trail??? Our tax dollars at work?

James Robert Smith said...

I think it's a sometimes rushing stream (in season), so a bridge was probably a good idea.