Weekly Spotlight 7/16/19

Hitchcock Creek Paddle Trail & Greenway

  Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the beautiful Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway and the many recreational activities within this versatile outdoor resource. Boating, Hiking, Kayaking , Nature Walks, Paddling, Picnicking, Playground, and much more is available at this outdoorsmen’s dream at Hitchcock! Hitchcock Creek is an incredibly unique feature of Richmond County, as it is one of only four streams that originates in the Coastal Plain and flows westward into the Piedmont, instead of eastward toward the ocean. 

        The Hitchcock Creek Watershed Action Plan established the foundation for all subsequent work on the creek in 2006. Three years later, the removal of Steele’s Mill Dam in Cordova marked the first construction project to open Hitchcock Creek for public navigation and reestablish historic fish runs from the Pee Dee River. In the proceeding years, multiple city and community efforts contributed to the construction of the Hitchcock Creek Greenway and Blue Trail. Construction on the first phase of the Hitchcock Creek Greenway was completed in 2012, and included over 6,000 feet of improved walking trails and three pedestrian bridges over Hitchcock Creek. In 2013, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission completed a boat landing and road improvements on public lands adjacent to the Pee Dee River commonly known as Diggs Tract. This project complemented the City’s efforts to develop a blue trail along Hitchcock Creek by providing public access to the Pee Dee River below the confluence of Hitchcock Creek, which was previously inaccessible from any public river access points. 

        Presently, as a result of these efforts, the public enjoys access to 15 scenic miles of paddling opportunities along Hitchcock Creek and the Pee Dee River and over a mile of improved trails in the pristine Pee Dee Lake bed. The 14-mile Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail starts in Rockingham and offers paddlers an opportunity to learn about the area’s unique natural places and history. Additionally, paddlers can enjoy viewing diverse floodplain forests, remnants of historic mills, and rare plants and animals that populate the trail. Other common wildlife along the creek include whitetail deer, wild turkey, gray and white squirrels, raccoons, gray and red foxes, rabbits, a diverse population of birds and waterfowl, and a variety of reptiles including venomous and non-venomous snakes. 

        Numerous public and private entities played a tremendous role in assisting the City of Rockingham to develop Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway, including the Resource Institute, American Rivers, the Cole Foundation, the NC Division of Water Resources, and many more. 

For more information on the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail and Greenway and a map of the paddle trail, visit the City of Rockingham at https://www.gorockingham.net/


Weekly Spotlight 7/9/19

Town Creek Indian Mound


Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at a national historic landmark and the state’s only historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage, Town Creek Indian Mound. With a mission of interpreting the history of the American Indians who once lived there, Town Creek manager, Rich Thompson, and staff welcome guests and encourage tour groups to learn more about the rich native history of the site. The visitor center was constructed in 1960 and features interpretative exhibits and numerous audiovisual displays. 

        The North Guard Tower and the Stockade are the first two visible structures on the foot tour of the site. The North Guard Tower is one of two “look-out” posts that were used to alert the people inside of visitors approaching the site. Serving as a protective barrier wall, the Stockade is a physical manifestation of the “city limits” for Town Creek. The first building upon entering the site is the Mortuary that was used by each clan or extended family as a home for the living as well as a place of rest for the dead. Several plaques within the structure provide insight on burial remains, wattle-and-daub, and other customs. 

        Beginning as a small earth lodge, the mound was later used as a platform for a Town House to sit atop. The Town House served as a ceremonial and political center of this society, as leaders and elders would often meet at the house to discuss matters of state or for important religious activities or observances. The furthest building from the entry is the known as the East Lodge, where the wattle-and-daub style construction is visible in the unfinished walls. 

        Guests are encouraged to end their visit with short, scenic walk on the nature trail that begins on the south side of the village and culminates at the visitor center/museum. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00-5:00pm and on Sunday from 1:00-5:00pm. For more information, visit their website at www.towncreekindianmound.com or call 910-439-6802. 


Weekly Spotlight 7/2/19

The Ellerbe Springs Inn & The Spring House


Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the beautiful, historic Ellerbe Springs Inn and Spring House. Built in the 1800s as a hotel and restaurant, this property offers visitors rich Ellerbe history, while still providing modern day accommodations. Listed on the Historic Registry, the exterior of the Inn is currently identical to its origins from the 1800s. Ellerbe Springs opened in 1890 as a summer escape and continues to offer travelers and other visitors a place to slow down and enjoy the quiet. The house and its seven guest rooms are beautifully decorated with family heirlooms and artwork from the current owners, Mark and Donna Buckeridge, family. Each of the individually and uniquely themed rooms is available for lodging and includes its own private bathroom. 

        Along with the rich history that includes celebrations, competitions, murder mystery weekends, reunions, weddings, and variety of other special events, the Inn hosted several notable guests. At least one U.S. President, NC Governors and Senators, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, multiple NASCAR drivers and their teams, and Andre the Giant have all visited the Inn. First Lady Roosevelt actually stayed in what is now appropriately titled the “Eleanor Roosevelt Room” when she came to support the National Youth Administration in 1940.  During which time, the facility, was a girls’ school. 

        From 1958 to 1968 the property was owned by the Boy Scouts of America, who used it for many events, including jamborees. To this day, numerous scouts return to reminisce about the adventures and fun memories of these days. As it was during this period, there is still a great deal of camping taking place at the Ellerbe venue on Camp Henning that provides full hook-up spaces for RV's. 

        In 2015, the building that was originally built as a dance hall in 1906 was opened as The Spring House. This family friendly pub serves burgers, pizza, salads, sandwiches, subs, wings, and other favorite dishes. The next time you are in Ellerbe, make sure to stop by, whether it is for a history lesson through a guided tour or some delicious food. It is guaranteed that you will be enriched in Richmond County from this historic asset nestled in the heart of hometown Ellerbe. 

        For more information on the Ellerbe Springs Inn or the pub-style family friendly restaurant, The Spring House, visit their website http://www.ellerbe-springs.com/ or call 910-652-5600 for the Inn and 910-652-5613. 


Weekly Spotlight 6/25/19

Hamlet Depot & Museums


Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at the current and historic hub of Hamlet, the Hamlet Depot and Museums. Rich in Hamlet history, this beautiful Victorian Queen Anne style building was originally built in 1900 and moved to the other side of the tracks in 2004 by the same company that moved the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The facility includes the depot, the museums, and a tornado building, which houses a life size replica of the tornado steam engine. The tornado steam engine was the first train to travel through North Carolina in 1840, arriving in Raleigh. The depot boasts a gorgeous lobby, a luggage room with original “left behind” luggage, passenger room, where passengers are still picked up twice a day from Amtrak, and a train display of an HO model set from 1952 Hamlet located downstairs. 

        The present front room of the depot was originally the lobby and includes numerous information sources and tools regarding the railroad. Additionally, a plethora of information is available throughout the depot among the variety of interactive learning exhibits that depict why Hamlet was once known as the “Hub of the South”, including several exhibits that demonstrate the inner and outer workings of the trains, the former life of railroad employees, the duties of railroad workers, and much more! 

        The discerning eye will discover some lost luggage inside the luggage room, in the back left corner, that was found during the renovation of the building in 2004. This “left behind” luggage incites questions of, Whose luggage was it? Why did they leave it? What happened? A conductor suit, complete with an accompanying pocket watch and a conductor hole punch, can also be found inside the luggage room. The passenger room continues to uphold its original intent, as the Silver Star train picks up Amtrak passengers twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon, to travel to Atlanta, Baltimore, Camden, Miami, New York, Southern Pines, and Washington, D.C.

Located downstairs, the HO model train is set as it was in 1952 and includes a picture from this time period in which the original depot can be seen. The O scale model train only has one button that the young museum visitors love to press!

        The Amtrak train passengers are not the only visitors at the Hamlet Depot and Museums, as this venue is a major tourist attraction for Richmond County for people of all ages. While the many interactive exhibits offer children fun learning, the numerous artifacts appeal to everyone, especially the history buffs! Get rich in history in Richmond County at the Hamlet Depot and Museums, where you will find the perfect getaway to brush up on the big history of this famous small town. For more information, visit the Facebook page or the website http://www.hamlethistoricdepot.org/, or call (910) 582-0603. 


Weekly Spotlight 6/18/19

Hinson Lake

Find your Getaway in Richmond County at Hinson Lake in Rockingham. This all-in-one 216-acre facility includes amenities to suit almost every type of outdoorsman! Whether your sport is disc golf, fishing, jogging, picnicking, or wildlife viewing, Hinson Lake has you covered. The newly constructed disc-golf course includes 18 holes and recently hosted a successful tournament by Richmond County Young Professionals. Fishermen can choose the perfect spot on the fishing piers or the 300 foot Leath Footbridge that spans across the upper end of the lake and includes a covered observation deck with benches. Hooking the perfect catch is very likely since the lake is annually stocked with various fishing game. The 2.75 miles of improved trails are ideal for jogging or walking, while viewing the beautiful wildlife scenery. Interpretative signs can be found along the trails that provide information about the various habitats, plant life, wildlife, and aquatic life found around the facility.

The facility is also known for hosting the Hinson Lake 24-hour Ultra Classic, a 24-hour endurance run around the 1.5-mile lake troop trail that brings in hundreds of runners from all over the United States every year.

        The onsite Rotary Lodge includes a 1,300 square foot meeting room and kitchen, an office for facility staff, a 1,400 square foot covered deck that overlooks Hinson Lake and the adjacent beaver pond, and outdoor grill/fireplace. The meeting room and kitchen are available for group meetings and cookouts through the City of Rockingham Parks and Recreation Department, which operates and maintains the facility.

        The facility is a collaborative effort by the City of Rockingham and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) with additional funding provided by the Cole Foundation, the Rockingham Rotary Club, the Leath Foundation, and the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. The property was donated to the NCWRC by the Hinson family in the early 1990’s and sat unused for more than 12 years before the City of Rockingham entered into an agreement in 1990 to develop the facility, as it currently exists. In 2006, the facility officially opened for public use and continues to be a tremendous source of community pride, as a beautiful hub for outdoor fun and fellowship.


Weekly Spotlight 6/11/19

Millstone 4H Camp

      Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at one of the three 4H Camps in North Carolina, Millstone 4-H Camp that is nestled in the beautiful countryside near Ellerbe. School is out, kids are bored, and gaming/ electronic usage is at its peak. Millstone 4H Camp not only keeps young minds actively learning, but also instills character through interactive outdoor fun. In their 80th year of operation, the North Carolina State University owned facility kicked off their summer camps this past Sunday, 6/9, with a Horsemanship Camp. Around 80 campers are attending the weeklong camp, along with their personal horses. Other camps offered this summer include: three weeks of traditional 4-H, Cloverbud, Shooting Sports, Boating, Fur, Fish, & Game, and Adventure Fur, Fish, & Game.  

      Camp Director, Keith Russell, began his thirty-two year long career in camp directing after working two summers as a camp counselor while he was completing his Recreation degree from Western University. Russell said the majority of the 30 camp counselors and staff hired seasonally to accommodate the 850 plus summer campers are predominantly college students and from all over the state. 

      Millstone holds several events, including the upcoming “Pickin’ in the Pines” event on October 19 to raise money to support the cost of summer camps. In addition to the summer camps, the facility also hosts around 20,000 people throughout the year with various other events and groups, such as, conferences, retreats, team-building seminars, and tournaments. 

      There are a few open slots in the Boating, Shooting Sports, and Fur, Fish, & Game camps. Sign up today at www.millstone4hcamp.com to discover the Millstone Experience disconnecting from the electronics to connect with nature! 


Weekly Spotlight 6/4/19

Dewitt's Outdoor Sports, LLC

     Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports. LLC. Shooting for some outdoor activities “ammo” fun? Dewitt’s is your one-stop shop for purchasing, learning about, and practicing with an assortment of firearms. Beautifully nestled in the outskirts of Ellerbe, the scenic 1 and 2/10 mile course at Dewitt’s boasts over 14 stations with targets from various angles that simulate actual hunting experiences.  

     This past weekend Dewitt’s hosted the 2019 North Carolina Sporting Clays Championship and had a record number of 290 entrants over the weekend. Contestants attempted 100 targets on over 15 different stations and another 100 targets on Sunday for the final championship. This was the 7th year that Dewitt’s hosted the NC Championship since the inaugural hosting in 2004. 

     Although Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports is known for their sporting clays, pistol and riffle ranges, hunting activities, and target practice, this locally owned facility is rooted in community engagement, family bonding, and sportsmanship. Open to the public 7 days a week, Dewitt’s is also the perfect venue for celebrations, such as birthday parties, class reunions, weddings, and other events. For more information on rentals or the limitless sportsman activities available, call (910) 652-2926 or visit their website http://www.dewittsoutdoorsports.com/ .

Go experience the “blast” at Dewitt’s Outdoor Sports!


Weekly Spotlight 5/28/19

National Railroad Museum & Hall of Fame, Inc.

     Find your getaway in Richmond County at the National Railroad Museum and Hall Of Fame Inc. in Hamlet. The weather is still smoldering and finding fun, yet educational, options for the whole family can be difficult, but not in Richmond County! The railroad represents one of the historical pillars of our county, particularly in Hamlet. The rich foundational roots of railroading are reflected in the museum's mission to preserve railroad history by collecting and displaying railroad memorabilia, maps, photographs, and a wide variety of other artifacts. Not only does the museum house a plethora of railroad related documents and items, but it also showcases various other historical highlights of the City of Hamlet.

      Museum President and board member, Tim Nevinger, says he and the board take great pride in this non-profit organization that is maintained and operated by volunteers, including himself and his wife, Kay Cavendish. Kay also heads up the popular thrift shop in Hamlet, “The Grab,” from which the contributions of donated items are used to fund the museum.

      Go check out this hidden treasure that evidences a time where railroads were the main source of long distance travel, passenger train service was as its zenith, and Hamlet was referred to as the “Hub of the South.”

      Although they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4p, they will gladly open up by request for appointments (910-582-3555).


Weekly Spotlight-5/21/19

Discovery Place Kids- Rockingham (5/21/19)

      Find Your Getaway in Richmond County at Discovery Place Kids in downtown Rockingham. Beat the heat, ditch the electronics, and come spend quality time with your family in this interactive learning environment. The children’s museum features developmentally-appropriate exhibits for children ages birth to ten that encourage children to explore their world, interact with others, test their skills and muscles, and experiment with new ideas. 

        DPK Rockingham is part of the Discovery Place family and is one of two Discovery Place Kids Museums in North Carolina. Museum Director, Katie Herndon, says DPK is, “ a great place for families to gather and learn.” With Rockingham being on the way to the beach, DPK is a great stopping point to give the kids a break from traveling, to not only stretch their legs, but also their minds! 

For more information, including facility rentals for birthday parties and other celebrations, visit their Facebook page or call (910) 997-5266.