W. Kerr Scott Lake is not only scenic, but it draws people from all over the country to its endless supply of hiking, biking and even running trails. It’s still a camping, fishing and hiking paradise in Western North Carolina, and it’s also becoming a hub for other growing sporting and outdoor recreational activities.
“There’s lots of mountain biking,” said W. Kerr Scott Chief of Operations Terry Ramsey. “We’ve got several major races that happen here. It’s not unusual for up to 500 people to participate in those throughout the year. We have a big one coming up on Memorial Day weekend called the Burn 24. We’ll have international bikers and probably some from every state. It’s a 24-hour endurance race.”
Because of its rolling terrain, W. Kerr Scott is also attracting those who like to push themselves to the limit.
“We also host a big triathlon called the Bandits Triathlon,” said Park Ranger Chad Eller. “This is its eighth year, and it’s been very successful. We have more than 300 athletes coming here from all over the country staying in town or camping at the lake, so it’s a boom to the economy in an economic sense.”
Ramsey said that events like this do provide a much needed economic binge to the community. But sporting events are just some of the activities that go on throughout the year that bring in tourist dollars.
“We recently became one of the Western North Carolina birding trails sites and we are going to start seeing more people once we get some good information about birding on our trails. We are starting to attract a lot of interest about our environmental center which we hope opens by January. The interest is from ecotourists who are very interested in this part of North Carolina.”
Eller said there are various partnerships that the Wilmington District has at W. Kerr Scott that provide volunteer work.
“We have a very strong partnership with the Boy Scouts. We’re getting ready to start the Sea Scouts which has water borne activities. We’ve had several Eagle Scout projects completed at our lake, and we work with Cub Scouts on day camps and nature hikes. So the whole spectrum of scouting is very strong here. We have two Jamborees a year where they come to camp, and they also help clean up, plant trees, and work on trails.”
Camping at W. Kerr Scott is an opportunity to view some of the most beautiful mountainous landscapes in Western North Carolina. All campsites are equipped with fresh water and able to handle just about any type of gadget that you can plug in. There are plenty of beaches for swimming, and activities such as geocaching (www.geocaching.com) and canoeing. For the day-only crowd there are enough shelters to handle family reunions, office functions or family events.