On our way to find the Fort Fisher Hermit Trail, we stopped at a small guide shop and asked a bit about it. WWII bunker was home to the hermit Robert Harrill for 17 years until he was murdered in June of 1972. More info here The Fort Fisher Hermit
Excerpt from the site:
“Asylum escapee Robert E. Harrill, who became known as the Fort Fisher Hermit, lived for 17 years under the stars, living off the land and the contributions of visitors who came by the thousands every year to meet “The Hermit.” A misnomer from almost the beginning, “The Hermit” treated anyone who came by with a warmth and friendly appreciation that was contagious. Life wasn’t so ideal, and in the end, the questions surrounding his death created an even more compelling story.”
We were told not to go there, because mountain bikers were not allow off roads or off of designated paths. We were also warned that if we were going to go there, to take mosquito protection.
So we set out down Kure Beach, past the aquarium and down to the fishing wall that connects Kure Beach to Zeke’s island. It was built as a barrier to keep the Confederate Navy from running the blockade during the Civil War. The wall is mostly deteriorated, and the internet tells me that Zeke’s Island isn’t accessible via that wall any more. Which I can believe, after coming upon several holes in the wall that could easily swallow a bike and rider whole.
On the way back we investigated a mysterious trail head, which had a cement marker, but no signage. We ignored the guide’s warning (foolishly) and plunged into the woods.
The trail itself was a little boring. There was dense low vegetation, and it was mostly flat. The defining feature of the trail was the standing, mossy water which served as a turbo-charged breeding ground for mosquitoes. Alexx got bit up quite a bit, while I didn’t. After exploring a few of the offshoot paths and coming to dead ends, we decided that this indeed was not the Fort Fischer Hermit Trail, and bailed.
However, once I uploaded this track to GPSies, and looked at it a little more closely, we were indeed on the Hermit Trail, and if had plowed through the vegetation wall on the most distant dead end, it would have broken through into Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, found the Hermit Bunker, salt marshes, and been a quarter of a mile from Zeke’s Basin. Oh well, the more you know.
Sadly, I neglected to take pictures of any of this.
OTB: 0 — Miles: 12 — Time: 1:17 (which is not bad for a mountain bike speed run)
I took no pictures of all of this, so here are some other people’s:
Taken by seancarr54 on Flickr
Taken by Civil War Trust on Flickr
Taken by my moustache on Flickr
Taken by Stubabes0137 on Flickr
Posted in Mountain Biking, Ride Reports, Riding and tagged Mountain Biking, Ride Report, Ride Reports, Rides by Chris with no comments yet.