People and Places with Pierce: The Cashie Wetlands Walk

WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – Windsor, North Carolina. Population: just over 3000. But hundreds more come from all over the country to take a walk on the wild side.

“It’s the only one I know of anywhere that you can actually walk in a marsh and feel safe and not get wet, not get your feet muddy, not have mud come up between your toes like it did when I was a kid,” says Billy Smithwick with the Town of Windsor.

The Cashie Wetlands Walk is a 1000 yard boardwalk through the marshlands bordering the Cashie River.

“We’re gonna loop right up almost to the river, and then we’re gonna come right on around and hit the walkway at this canal,” said Smithwick.

It’s been a popular stop since opening in 1995.

“It was very pleasant and pretty,” said Bruce Moffatt, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. “I did sight some birds the last time I was here. We’ll see if I’m lucky today.”

Smithwick recalls being skeptical about the project at the start.

“I found out they were doing a boardwalk through this marsh, and I said mayor, I think y’all are crazy,” recalled Smithwick. “He says what do you mean? I said I think you’re crazy to invest all that money to put a boardwalk through that marsh or swamp. Everybody in Windsor has walked through a swamp in their life and had mud squeeze up between their toes. He said you’re gonna be surprised.”

And what a surprise it’s been. Visitors from 40 states have taken this walk through Windsor’s marshlands. They feed into the Cashie River, the longest and deepest river in the world that starts and ends in one county. It may not be the longest river in Eastern North Carolina, but what it lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in natural beauty.

“It’s beautiful,” said Moffatt’s wife. “Just beautiful. And so quiet. We like that. We like quietness.”

Adding to the ambiance, you can spot up to 20 species of birds and dozens of plants and other animals.

“We actually have a couple of eagles that fly over there that are nested across the river,” said Smithwick. “If you enjoy nature at all, you would love to walk through there and enjoy it because it’s quiet back there.”

Whether from far.

“I like looking for birds, and I wanted to have a look at the river, and just enjoy the shade today because it’s a little cooler back here,” said Moffatt.

Or near, the Cashie Wetlands Walk offers a little something for everyone.

We’re always looking for your story ideas for People & Places with Pierce. If you have an interesting person or place you’d like to see featured, email Pierce or send him a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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