A beautiful, cool spring Sunday inspired me to head out on the Neuse River Trail once again with all three children and Mama Cruise Director too. A minivan packed with my oldest's scooter, a Big Wheel and enough rations for a picnic had us on our way.
This trailhead offers a great parking lot off of Auburn Knightdale Rd. The Trail speed limit of 10 mph is helpful on this portion with its' steeper grades (one of the steepest is near the site of the above picture). Private land and a wastewater facility cause the Trail to take its' greatest deviation from it's usual riverside meandering. Farmland is the dominant scenery here. Trailside litter is nonexistent. And although hunting is prohibited near the Trail, if you think you hear gunshots near marker 23 you're right - there's a law enforcement firing range nearby.
Stopping trailside we had a picnic. And even though he hadn't pedaled or scooted a mile like his brother and sister, my toddler packed in the food until he belched so loud it was hard to believe a sound that deep could come from such a small body.
The highlight of the trek is the tunnel under Battle Bridge Rd at mile 23.25.
At mile 24 the Trail crosses Brownfield Rd and then parallels it for another 3/4 mile. The entrance to a landfill is also at this crossing and even though you can't see the landfill itself, you can smell it when you're downwind.