Shuttle Bus from Bear to There
Tom Kneipp, Park Ranger, Bear Creek Lake State Park
In the early 20th century, some of the great National Parks, out west, used shuttle buses to move visitors to the various panoramic sites, even to other National Parks. Some visitors had arrived by train and so needed transportation, and also the shuttle was a way to avoid vehicle congestion at popular sites. National Parks like the Grand Canyon and Denali make routine use of shuttles to protect pristine environments. So expand your horizons! Explore a new world, and leave the driving to us!
A shuttle will be available at Bear Creek Lake State Park on Saturday June 2, 2012 to take hikers to several points along the Willis River Trail, in the Cumberland State Forest, so that they can hike back to the Park. This will allow them to avoid either backtracking to return to the Park, or using two vehicles to get back and forth.
The Willis River Trail is a wonderful 16 mile linear trail developed by the Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club. It winds through several distinct ecosystems found in the piedmont. It is a recreational gem waiting to be enjoyed. The BCL Shuttle will let folks off at three and six mile points up the trail, further by request. A Park Volunteer will act as a "sweep" to ensure folks get going the correct way. While it is regularly maintained, it is still a narrow hiking trail. Its use is for prepared hikers who have some experience. The terrain does not have long steep grades, but will involve some unlevel terrain on slopes and creek crossings with banks. If you like to hike and want to discover the Willis River Trail, this is a good introduction.
On Sunday, the shuttle will take BCLSP visitors on a day trip to High Bridge Trail State Park. We will let folks off at a parking lot about a mile or so from the iconic High Bridge itself. After a couple hours visiting this "rails to trails" Park, we'll shuttle folks back to Bear Creek Lake, stopping at both the campground and the cabin area.
There is a $5 per person fee for the shuttle (family rates available), and spaces are limited. For more information and to register for a seat, contact the Park Office at 804-492-4410, or firstname.lastname@example.org.