A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the many festivals and events that take place in the spring. Those events continue this weekend with both Laurel Fest and Bike to Build, continue next week with the Chalk Banks Challenge, and then end May with second Laurinburg After Five on Friday, May 25th with Blackwater Rhythm and Blues playing out at the Morgan Complex. But as I discussed with someone at Spring Fest, you don’t need a festival to enjoy the outdoors in Laurinburg/Scotland County. From biking, to kayaking, to golf, and ATV riding, Scotland County has it all.
The Scotland County bicycle route system consists of three numbered, signed routes and several unsigned connectors. This 147-mile route system uses lightly traveled, paved roads favored by bicyclists to link towns and points of interest as well as for peaceful rides through the countryside. The relatively flat terrain of Scotland County is ideal for cyclists of all abilities with only scattered small hills to add interest.
Whether you wish to take a short ride, an all-day trip, or a longer overnight tour, all the information you need to plan your ride is in an easy to use map. The complete Scotland County bicycle routes, highlighted on the map in different colors, consists of three signed routes totaling 114 miles and an additional 33 miles of unsigned connector routes. By combining these routes in different ways, you can create a variety of trip options. www.bike-laurinburg.com
The Scottish forbears that came here weren’t all work and no play. Along with their pipes and tartans, they brought their fascination with a little white ball and a bag full of clubs.
Spring in Scotland County provides much the same inspiring scenery as our well-known neighbor to the north – namely, verdant pine trees with an understory of azalea and dogwood. Against this backdrop, golf course designers have laid out challenging links to test your skills while you enjoy a game with your foursome on a Saturday.
Deercroft Golf and Country Club: Designed by Gardner Gilley. The “Deercroft” course features 6,566 yards from the long tees, with a par of 72. This beautiful facility is owned and managed Ted Robinson. (910) 369-3107. www.deercroft.com
Cypress Creek Golf Links: This challenging par-72 Tom Jackson layout totals 6,570 yards from the long tees. Mark Brown is now the Owner/Manager. (910) 277-0311
Scotch Meadows: Designed by Donald Ross with Russell Breedon, ASCGA, as golf architect. Chip Wells manages as the Golf Professional. (910) 276-0169. scotchmeadowscountryclub.com
Most recently the site of the 2018 Mud Bash that hosted over 3,000 people despite rainy weather, the Outback Motorsports Complex is a 700-acre facility located in Scotland County. The trails are freshly cut, some are open, some are tight. There is also a mud pit that is 200 foot-long and 30 feet wide. Enter at your own risk!
“There’s a lot of people that enjoy riding four-wheelers, but they don’t have anywhere to go. Here, it is all yours,” says Mike Gipson, who, along with his wife Connie, owns and operates the facility. Since taking over the facility, the Gipsons have added tens of miles of new trails, cleaned up all the old trails and have also added a 1.5-mile motor-cross ATV track.
The grounds are a family-oriented facility that caters to the rider that enjoys a leisurely crawl over the river and through the woods (or, if you prefer… through the river). Admission is only $5 per person/$10 per ATV. There is also a discount for members of the military. The park is located at 18576 McGirts Bridge Road. For more information visit the Outback Web site at www.outbackmsc.com or call them at 910-506-1078.
And, of course there is the Lumber River and Chalk Banks State Park — home of next week’s water festival. The Lumber River is recognized as one of North Carolina’s Ten Natural Additionally, the Lumber River is the only North Carolina black water river to earn federal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River.
Access to the Chalk Banks State Park and the Lumber River is on highway 401, just north of Wagram. Visit www.chalkbanls.com for more information – or come out next Saturday (May 19) to the Chalk Banks Challenge and Water Festival – more on that later. In the meantime head out to Laurel Fest this weekend and enjoy the outdoors.
Cory Hughes, executive director of the Scotland County Tourism Development Authority, wrote this week’s Focus on Scotland, an effort by community leaders on making Laurinburg/Scotland County a better place to work, live, and play.