I discovered Henderson County’s Greenway!

Map of Greenway paths

Map of Greenway paths

So, I was not expecting to spend a long time waiting for an oil change when I drove my Hyundai Elantra GT into Hunter Chevrolet/Hyundai/Subaru on November 4, 2009, but apparently you now have to call for an appointment if you don’t want to wait (contrary to what I have been told in the past when I called for an appointment and they told me I don’t need one for just an oil change, hmmm..) After waiting in a long line just to get into the service check-in bay, I was told I would be in for a looong wait, but decided to go ahead and use my free oil change coupon I’ve been holding onto since May, even though I did not bring a bicycle to while away the time with, as I usually would.

Hunter Chevrolet/Hyundai on Asheville Hwy. in Hendersonville, NC

Hunter Chevrolet/Hyundai on Asheville Hwy. in Hendersonville, NC
The line to get in was at least 4 cars out the door, but gone when I got back.
The line to get in was at least 4 cars out the door, but gone when I got back.

I sat in the waiting room and read the only section of the paper I could find, the Local news. I read an article about the newest leg of Henderson County’s Greenway being Grand Opened/Dedicated on November 14th. Now it stretches from Jackson Park all the way to Patton Park. The article said future hopes would be to get it all the way down to Berkely Mills. That was not far from where I was sitting, dreading the time doing nothing and I decided to take a walk.

I headed up the huge embankment from Hunter, across a church parking lot and down another bank to the disused railroad tracks that I don’t think the Norfolk-Soutern train even runs on any more with all the plants closing. I crossed Berkley Road and followed the tracks that run parallel with it for a while until I saw Patton Park right next to the tracks.

Crossing road on RR tracks next to Berkely Mills/Kimberly-Clark.

Crossing Berkely Road on RR tracks next to Berkely Mills/Kimberly-Clark.

Running down the railroad tracks by Berkely Mills/Kimberly-Clark plant.

Running down the railroad tracks by Berkely Mills/Kimberly-Clark plant.

Junction where track splits off to go to Kimberly-Clark plant.

Junction where track splits off to go to Kimberly-Clark plant.

Creek running under tracks with buildings on yon hill.
Well-worn path from railroad tracks around end of chain link fence to Patton Park.

Well-worn path from railroad tracks around end of chain link fence to Patton Park.

I got off the RR tracks, and went around the chain link fence to follow the walking trails that oldsters and mommies pushing babies were making full use of. I found the offshoot of what I assumed to be the start of the connecting Greenway path from the walking path and headed down it. The new section starts right as you cross the railroad tracks and then cross North Main Street and you come to where the path deviates from it’s parallel course with the RR tracks and a wooden boardwalk begins beside the paved pathway.

I followed the paved path because the boardwalk said it was closed for construction and had a KEEP OUT sign on it. I went a ways and then turned a sharp corner and saw the end of the boardwalk with did NOT have a keep out sign on that end, hmmm. Then the path followed alongside the creek/river which I assumed was Mud Creek or the Oklawaha, hence the name of the Greenway as The Oklawaha Greenway.

Greenway path shoots off from walking path that circles Patton Park on Hwy. 25/Asheville Hwy.

Greenway path shoots off from walking path that circles Patton Park on Hwy. 25/Asheville Hwy.

Path crosses railroad tracks, then crosses road (N. Main Street)

Path crosses railroad tracks, then crosses road (N. Main Street)

Greenway path starts back here on other side of road. (N. Main Steet?)

Greenway path starts back here on other side of road. (N. Main Steet)

I took the boardwalk that runs sort of parallel to the paved greeway path, but cuts off the corner somewhat.

I took the boardwalk that runs sort of parallel to the paved greeway path, but cuts off the corner somewhat.

Boardwalk has offshoot pier that goes out to viewing point.

Boardwalk has offshoot pier that goes out to viewing point.

End of the boardwalk opens out onto paved path.

End of the boardwalk opens out onto paved path.

Divided lanes make biking easier. Saw one cyclist the whole time. Two other walkers. No joggers.

Divided lanes make biking easier. Saw one cyclist the whole time. Two other walkers. No joggers.

A few trees have signs marking their type along the greenway.

A few trees have signs marking their type along the greenway.

The Oklawaha river runs by the greenway (Also known as Mud Creek.)

The Oklawaha river runs by the greenway (Also known as Mud Creek.)

Lots of standing water from recent rains.

Lots of standing water from recent rains.

More Trees.

More Trees.

Nice bridge crossing when getting near 7th Avenue.

Nice bridge crossing when getting near 7th Avenue.

I noticed a few signs marking trees of different varieties and even one that pointed out the “Poison Ivy” vines growing on one tree. As I approached the public housing known as Green Meadows, I finally ran into some other people. A guy walking with an iPod going and then what appeared to be a group of haggard vagrants mingling around the Seventh Avenue entrance. I didn’t have to wonder how to avoid their gaze long though, as a city parks dept. truck pulled right into the path for some reason just as I got there. I crossed the Seventh Avenue bridge and road and started on the way to the Jackson Park path I already knew well from riding my bike on at other times.

Greenway stops at Seventh Avenue and goes on bridge across river and then crosses to other side of street.

Greenway stops at Seventh Avenue and goes on bridge across river and then crosses to other side of street.

Sign showing Greeway map on Seventh Avenue entrance/crossing.

Sign showing Greeway map on Seventh Avenue entrance/crossing.

Greenway path picks up here to go to Jackson Park.

Greenway path picks up here to go to Jackson Park.

Heading towards where path goes beneath the busy HWY. 64/Four Seasons BLVD/MLK Blvd overpass.

Heading towards where path goes beneath the busy HWY. 64/Four Seasons BLVD/MLK Blvd overpass.

Other side of Four Seasons BLVD. overpass, heading towards Jackson Park.

Other side of Four Seasons BLVD. overpass, heading towards Jackson Park.
This marshy area is next to a creek that sometimes overflows and covers the path.

This marshy area is next to a creek that sometimes overflows and covers the path.

I stepped off the path to take some photos but sunk deep into the water and muck hidden under the tall weeds. Great, I was planning on running back and now I will have to do so with a squishy left sock and shoe. Finally reaching Jackson Park’s entrance, I crossed the road into the park and went to where the dog walkers were parking next to the nature trail. Sitting on a bench, I wrung out my sock and sat it in the sun a bit. I visited the Parks and Rec offices to use their rest room and they looked at me like I may actually be one of those homeless guys I was looking at the same way earlier. That’s what I get for going out in public without my winter beard properly grown in yet. There’s something about grey stubble that just screams vagrant! for some reason.

Almost to where Greenway enters Jackson Park.

Almost to where Greenway enters Jackson Park.

Greenway path crosses the entrance road to Jackson Park here.

Greenway path crosses the entrance road to Jackson Park here.

Parking area at Jackson Park. Some still flooded from recent rains.

Parking area at Jackson Park. Some still flooded from recent rains.

Nature trail that veers off from Jackson Park path and loops back around to it.

Nature trail that veers off from Jackson Park path and loops back around to it.

Jackson Park part of path.

Jackson Park part of path.

This is where I came to a stop.

This is where I came to a stop.

Start of the Greenway path in Jackson Park.

Start of the Greenway path in Jackson Park.

View of Jackson Park from Parks and Rec office on hill.

View of Jackson Park from Parks and Rec office on hill.

Sitting down to wring water out of my sock after stepping off the path and getting it soaked.

Sitting down to wring water out of my sock after stepping off the path and getting it soaked.

Okay, time to go back now.

Okay, time to go back now.

Starting back on my jog back to Hunter, I was able to run the whole way since I already took all the photos on the walking trip down. I was fortunate to have my cell phone camera with me, as the scenes were really quite beautiful in many places, but unfortunate in that it is a really crappy camera and did not take very good photos. As I was about two-thirds of the way back (this time I took the boardwalk, since it made the trip shorter and I could truthfully say there was no KEEP OUT sign when I got on at the other end, in case anyone asks, which no one did), I got a call on the cell phone that my car was ready, but they can’t find me. So I hurried even more. I think I spent about two hours total. I would hated to have been sitting in that waiting room all that time. This is supposedly a 1.1 mile addition to the greenway at present, but I don’t know how much extra it is to Hunter Chevrolet. If they get it to go all the way to Berkley Mills, it might make waiting for your car service a more enjoyable experience.

ADDENDUM: A week later, the Greenway was officially opened. Here are the photos from the Times News.

Headed back to Hunter on Greenway.

Headed back to Hunter on Greenway.

Took the path, not the boardwalk. The board walk is faster though.

Took the path, not the boardwalk. The board walk is faster though.

2 thoughts on “I discovered Henderson County’s Greenway!

  1. A most interesting blog. I did a Google search for info on the Oklawaha River in Henderson County & up popped your blog. I live in Asheville & was unaware of a river running through Hendersonville until I came across a reference to the Oklawaha. Being called Mud Creek locally is somewhat of a downgrade.

    My quest for more info on the Oklawaha came from the title of a used book I just acquired . . . “From The Banks of the Oklawaha” by Frank Fitzsimons. The book is an outstanding and most interesting history of people, places and events in Henderson County from pre-Revolutionary times. If you can locate copy, it makes a most interesting read.

    Again, thanks for the blog. Cheers, Jim Perkerson

  2. Thanks for the note, Jim. It’s always more rewarding to know someone else has read and gotten something out of all the effort of taking the photos and making the blog post.

    I’ve lived in Henderson County my whole life and had not had an opportunity to view such an expanse of waterway here (due to most of it being on private lands), so it was kind of a surprise to me as well.

    I have often heard of Mr. Fitzsimmon’s book, but have not had chance to view it as of yet.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

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