LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) - Caldwell County Commissioner Donnie Potter says Wilson Creek is one the gems of Western North Carolina and a place folks should visit.
He just hopes not too many do that this weekend.
“The resource can only hold so many people,” Potter said.
The creek can only be accessed down a narrow state-maintained gravel road. In the most popular section, in the Pisgah National Forest, there are only 194 parking spaces.
On a normal day that’s more than enough. On a holiday weekend it’s not.
Over the July 4 weekend, there were times when more than 400 vehicles were counted.
Many parked along the road and made it difficult for emergency vehicles and residents to get through. More than two dozen were towed and with another holiday weekend approaching, visitors are being forewarned that the tow trucks will be called out again for those who park illegally.
In addition to the traffic issues, officials are working on the potential trash problem as well.
Additional dumpsters have been placed along the road and a group called A Clean Wilson Creek has placed trash barrels out.
Members were also combing the roadside and picking up whatever trash they found. They have been ramping up the cleanup efforts over the past year and believe it is starting to have an effect.
“The more you clean up, the more people pick up after themselves,” said Suzanne Spain.
The group will return on Tuesday to do a sweep of the area.
Commissioner Potter says he hopes people will not be discouraged from coming out to Wilson Creek but says he wants them to
“Respect the Creek and do the right thing,” Potter said.