Notorious mine shaft on NC biking path now has a lid on it


Known because the “sinkhole,” the 6-foot extensive, 30-foot-deep mine shaft is conspicuously situated on a well-liked biking path in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

U.S. Forest Service photograph

Abandoned mine shafts from the 1800s riddle the western half of North Carolina, and the U.S. Forest Service has taken motion to dam off one of the infamous of them.

Known because the “sinkhole,” the 6-foot extensive, 30-foot-deep pit mine is conspicuously situated alongside a well-liked biking path in Pisgah National Forest, about 130 miles northwest of Charlotte.

“Over the last decade there have been multiple minor incidents involving people and animals falling into the vertical hole,” the U.S. Forest Service reported May 11.

A 12-foot by 10-foot flat grate now covers the mine shaft opening in Burke County. U.S. Forest Service photograph

“Due to these safety concerns, the US Forest Service determined the best course of action was to permanently mitigate the mine shaft. Several options were reviewed including closing or relocating the trail, filling the hole, or building a permanent fence.”

The distant path in Burke County was closed in February whereas specialists labored with “professional trail builders” on an answer. Their resolution was revealed this week when the U.S Forest Service posted photographs exhibiting a 12-foot by 10-foot flat grate now covers the opening.

Not solely is it safer, officers mentioned, however the aluminum cowl additionally maintains the “character of the rest of the Holly Springs Trail.”

The path, which is rated “most difficult” for bikers and hikers, was reopened this week, officers mentioned.

Mining turned a booming business in North Carolina within the 1800s, after gold was found in 1799. Digging for gems and minerals additionally turned worthwhile.

“North Carolina was the nation’s only gold-producing state from 1803 until 1828, and continued as a leading producer until 1848 when gold was discovered in California,” the NC Department of Environmental Quality stories.

“By about 1830, the leading mines in North Carolina were hard-rock mines rather than surface placer operations. Output probably peaked in the early 1830s and again in the late 1840s.”

Burke County has a ghost city — Henry Mill Village — that thrived and died as a part of the state’s gold rush, in accordance with

“Hollywood brought the town back to life for a brief period,” the location stories. “It served as the location for a town in the 2012 movie, ‘The Hunger Games.’ Tourists breathed some life back into Henry Mill Village temporarily, but a permanent resurrection did not happen.”

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, protecting beats together with colleges, crime, immigration, LGBTQ points, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and artwork historical past, and a minor in geology.

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