This is a lovely walk through part of the 265 tranquil acres located within the Eno River Valley near Hillsborough. The walk passes the Eno River, the remnants of an old tavern and the Old Indian Trading Path.
However, along the trail lies the Twisted Grove......
Enter the Grove at either end from either direction of the Trail. One of these grove entrances is at the listed co-ordinates. Here is a rather forlorn Cedar tree, where rumour once has it that the famous Ayrshire poet, Alisdair Pringle, sat and wrote the famous Triple Masquette, a set of three allegorical poems outlining a bizarre set of rituals he once witnessed on a remote Polynesian Island. The rituals described the summoning of a "large a-writhing creature", and describes shoreline sacrifices of various animals to "appease the appetite" of the creature.
It was known that Mr Pringle had much contact with the famed Miskatonic researcher Charlie Watkins in nearby Chapel Hill. The two were often seen together, walking along the grounds at Mount Ayr, deep in conversation. Watkins' daughter, interviewed for a local newspaper in 1972 after his mysterious disappearance, shed some light on their relationship.
"They were in deep together, researching the local phenomena that were experienced in Chapel Hill, in particular a rumoured sighting of an "Awful", a rediciculous myth put about by some local vagrants. Anyhow, he and Alisdair has some cockneyed idea about summoning one. They failed once, but decided to try and summon one. They chose Mount Ayr as the place to do this, and for some reason cleared the area of Magnolia trees. They were so beautiful there. Oh well, they tried and set up a very complicated structure close to Alisdair's fine house, with all manner of animals and wires. We had no idea of the when and why, but we humored them. One day they simply stopped and dismantled all the equipment. It was the morning after a horrendous lightning storm in the area, and I guessed most of the equipment got damaged. That was about a month before he vanished. The land around the equipment was cleared by Alisdair, but he kept one little copse of trees where the equipment had been placed alone and forbade any of his family to enter. Such a sad subsequent tale about that family, as we all know.."
You will know the Twisted Grove when you enter it on the trial. It is a sad, forlorn place with an odd assortment of trees, twisted and gnarled from unknown forces.You are looking for the tree that housed a large antenna that Watkins and Pringle set up here to call the "Awful". From his scrawled notes he set its position.
"Close to the trail... living cedar on a rock. Not the detback dead cedar, the living proud cedar overshadowing the trail. Head into the woods, off the trail, at a bearing of 292degrees true north. Measure one hundred feet,a nd look for the cedar with the Split. Easy, Watkins old boy, set the antenna here.. yours in research, A. Pringle."
Pease locate and park at Ayr Mount, hours below. The signed entrance is off St. Mary's Road.
As you start the walk there are pencils and notepads.. the walk is meant to inspire you to write poetry.
The walk is open daily :
9 AM until 5 PM*
Jan Feb Nov Dec
9 AM until 6 PM*
March April Sept Oct
9 AM until 8 PM*
May June July August (even though sign says 7pm)
The cache is really close to a main trail, so some stealth required.
This area is under threat from a new road.... visit http://www.savepoetswalk.com/history.html to find out more.
Big thanks to Binary J for the container, stamp and notebook.