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