Stories to lift the spirit and keep us smiling

Contributing Writers: Elvis Patterson & Bobby Patterson

Lets go on the trail and into the forest

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(This is the initial article of a quarterly series to be published in NC Gold Tales.  The series represents the author's perspective and experiences as a visitor to the numerous attractions offered by the NC Gold Trail, a heritage destination trail that spans across NC and whose purpose is to educate visitors about the NC Gold Rush and the significance it played in the history of the US.)

On The Trail by: Elvis Patterson

Gold Hill Mine and The Historic Village of Gold Hill are shining nuggets nestled in the heart of the Carolina Gold Trail.

We chose to take the scenic route....lazily driving the back country roads of Rowan County in search of a hidden gem.  The short stretches of winding roads offered my wife and I a rather simplistic, although much desired view.  Large pastures, steeple laced churches, and an abundance of rustic barns and tattered a-frame homes dotted the landscape and reminded us of days gone by and much simpler times.   Much like the miners that once toiled the North Carolina landscape, we were determined to head into the unknown (to us that is) and uncover a hidden treasure; a treasure that includes a wealth of relaxing, fun, and educational opportunities that the NC Gold Trail has to offer.

My wife and I, along with our children, are both natives of North Carolina and we relish the opportunity to explore our own back yard in search of good times, great people, and good old-fashioned North Carolina history (pun intended).   Although we enjoy the written word, getting out of the house and seeing our state is the best way to soak up our state's heritage and beauty, participate in the local economy, meet some interesting people, and have a great time.  Therefore, it came as no surprise that we were brimming with enthusiasm upon learning that North Carolina was the sight of the first gold rush in the United States.  With this newly discovered fact in mind, we eagerly set out to learn more about the 30-plus counties that are included in the NC Gold Trail via a few spring/summer weekend trips.