Whale Rocks, Durant Nature Preserve
We have blogged before about the excellent Durant Nature Preserve near our home in North Raleigh. Shortly before our trip to Colorado, we finally completed our exploration of its trail system.
We brought Fitz Roy along with us, since he can never seem to get enough walking in. You could say that this time out, the team had a whale of a time.
In fact, our destination for this trip was the elusive Whale Rocks…the most notable rock formation in Durant Park, and one that we had been unable to reach in our previous ventures. There are few big rock formations in the Raleigh area, probably because the glaciers that once covered didn’t make it down this far, or at least by the time they did, they were out of rocks. You don’t see the glacial erratics that are common in New England. Where you do see big rocks in the Eastern Carolinas, it’s usually because a river wound it way past and dug them out.
From the North parking area we set off in search of the whales. Fitz, who has proven himself to be a cash hound and surf dog, was hard on the scent. Would he prove himself a whaling dog too?
Indeed he must be for we followed his nose along the Border Trail counter clockwise and…we soon sighted Whales!
The rocks, which are located in the small steam that forms the north boundary of the park, do rather look like half submerged whales. Sylvia in fact stated that standing on the ‘head’ of the ‘ballena’ was ‘creepy.’
Fitz had no such issues planting himself squarely atop of the whale’s head.
Even though Whale Rocks are located in one of the more remote parts of the park, they are not exactly located in a remote area in general. In fact, just across the stream is a greenway, and just beyond that is a suburban street bordered by back yards and houses.
We have theorized that the former Boy Scout Camp that once occupied this site was abandoned partly because of the encroachment of development. Camp Durant was abandoned in 1977; a new Boy Scout Camp in Carthage, NC was renamed ‘New Camp Durant” (now just Camp Durant) and the old one was closed.
Most of the online sources we have checked out merely state that the camp was abandoned due to ‘inadequate resources.’ Odd because we don’t see a lot that’s inadequate about the place; but at any rate, the Boy Scouts loss in Raleigh’s gain. What a great addition this is to the city’s park system!
We finally left Whale Rocks behind and continued our hike back to the park’s main entrance. The whales we left in peace — and we had no harpoon that could penetrate rock anyway.
It’s always a pleasure to hike in Durant Nature Preserve.