Not just a walk in the park

Last Sunday was a beautiful warm day. The sun was shining, a cool breeze brushed through the trees and people were ready to be outside. I am from Virginia but come to the area frequently to visit. I was with three other friends, and we wanted nothing more than to do something outside. We’d all heard so many great things about the trail at Warren Wilson College in Buncombe County, so we headed that way.

The parking there is minimal to begin with, and all the spaces were full. We drove on up the hill and found a vacant dirt area. There were no signs for “No Parking,” and we all knew this was such a peaceful community that there would be no problem. The first thing we saw was a tow truck loading up a Subaru Outback. This car was parked in the area where everyone parks, so my first thought was maybe they had car trouble.

As we got closer, a man assisting the tow truck—and I believe affiliated with the college—pointed up to where we had parked and asked: “Are those your cars?” We said yes and he crudely said, “You’re next, and we can tow two at once.” We asked what the problem was and he said, “We are cutting back on parking and trail use.”

After our hike, we returned to our cars, which were in the same lot where the towed car had been parked. There stood a full family—a couple children and a few adults—without a vehicle and with no information on where it was located. We watched as they took pictures of the lack of no-parking signs.

I came to the trail expecting to have a beautiful experience. What I witnessed was a Nazi-like policy that took away from the character of the college.

In the times we are all experiencing, something like walking a beautiful trail is an activity that doesn’t take away from your bank account. It was sad to see this happen, and I hope this letter will in some way send a message that actions should be taken.

— Amber B. Copley
Abingdon, Va.

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3 thoughts on “Not just a walk in the park

  1. Hatin it

    It’s sad. The more time you spend in this area the more you realize people’s skill’s are talking the talk. Even with the very most reputable business/organizations you will more often than not be let down, they rarely practice what they preach

  2. Trey

    They have signs up now.

    I don’t really understand the draw of that particular trail… unless you like to see hairy, overweight, hippie chicks getting nude down by the river.

    Excuse me while I go poke out my mind’s eye now.

  3. Swannanoan

    People must remember that Warren Wilson is private property, they open up their land out of good will. Unfortunately many people have taken advantage of that good will, and we in the area know how much their land gets used and abused. As with everything else, the well intentioned folks suffer because of the few bad apples. My advice to anyone visting Warren Wilson is to respect their rules, look for no parking signs (they are there) and leash your dog. Most of all, remember that you are a GUEST on PRIVATE PROPERTY, not the Pisgah Natl Forest or a public park.

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