News spread fast last week after the Sylva Police Department removed more than 50 spikes from hiking trails at Pinnacle Park, but a drive by the trailhead two days later showed that the incident hadn’t dampened local enthusiasm for the area. Even at 1 p.m. on a Thursday, the parking area held seven cars whose owners had come to enjoy a sunny afternoon on the trail.
Sylva resident Amy Schmidt, 33, was one of them. She and her German shepherd Greta come to Pinnacle Park regularly, about three times a week, and though she’d heard about the spikes she didn’t think twice about coming back for their regular walk. But the story did give her pause.
When Jerry Parker walked by Judaculla Rock on March 26, he saw that some newer markings covered the rock’s millennia-old Cherokee carvings. A symbol written in white spray paint blazed the rock’s center, black paint circled a pair of round rises near the bottom, and sets of initials covered the beams of the boardwalk surrounding the historic site.
The U.S. Forest Service is planning to install a gate on Wine Spring Road near Franklin after communications equipment housed less than a mile up the road at Wine Spring Gap was repeatedly stolen and vandalized. Damage has totaled $20,000 in losses, and one of the victims, Macon County Emergency Services, requested that the Forest Service do something about it.
Vandalism is apparently still a problem in Sylva public parks.It’s a problem that cost the town about ten grand last year to install four security cameras as a deterrent. But it wasn’t enough to do the trick, so town leaders will spend another $13,400 on more cameras this year.
A riverside park in Swain County was plastered with graffiti two weeks ago, with several cans of spray paint unleashed on the public outdoor recreation area.
Nothing went un-tagged, even the trees were spray-painted at the Old N.C. 288 park, where picnic tables, a shelter, boat launch and fishing docks overlook the Tuckasegee River as it flows into Lake Fontana.