No Trespassing signs at Bolin Creek

My husband and I take turns running with our dogs in the woods on Seawell School Road, either on the Bolin Creek side or the Carolina North side.  Yesterday we noticed that NO TRESPASSING signs have appeard on the Bolin Creek side.  We requested more information via the contact information on the signs, and here is what we found out:

Why has P.H.Craig Posted “No Trespassing” Signs?

P.H. Craig has generously allowed the public to use his environmentally precious property along Bolin Creek for forty years. Hikers, bikers, joggers and nature lovers have enjoyed the beauty, tranquility and challenge of this natural treasure—the last significant piece of private property close to downtown Carrboro—for decades. For those who have not had the privilege to visit this magical place, the Craig “Preserve” consists of the land bounded by Ironwoods, Carolina North and Bolin Creek. On Monday Craig posted “No Trespassing” signs on his property, denying access to the public. Why?

For many years a group of young mountain bikers have been building earthen mounds or “moguls” to jump—a challenging, exciting and dangerous activity. Craig voiced strong objections to this use of his property and threatened to post “no trespassing” signs if bikers persisted in using the moguls. The bikers ignored his warning and Craig has now followed through with his threat, denying access to all.


I'm sad about this, and confused about what is private and what is public.  Where can we legally be?  Where can we legally park?  What if we wander into the private areas?  Does anyone know of a map?  Does this post even belong on OP?  :)  





The red section is his property. This is a long standing issue. The bikes have also caused soil erosion.

I hope no one is going to argue that Mr. Craig "owes" the public the use of his land.  While I haven't always agreed with some of his positions on development in CH, it sounds as if Mr. Craig has been quite generous in allowing the public to use his undeveloped land in this particular site, only asking that the public respect the land.  When that didn't occur, and after proper warning, Mr. Craig rescinded his generous offer.  If anyone should be reprimanded or taken to task here it sounds to me as if it should be the parents of these children who did not teach their children to respect the property of others.  A sad commentary indeed.

George, who will enforce the no trespassing signs? My neighborhood and back yard butt right up to the Craig property. This means that my boys and their friends have been playing on the Craig property since we have lived in this house (2001). I have spoken to my boys about this, but as you know boys will be boys, and that rope swing is way to tempting.

who will enforce the signs, if anyone.  And I don't know the particulars but from the original post it sounds as if some of the children were "creating" a dirt bike course for themselves.  I'm sure it is fun for the kids but if it leads to erosion it is a detriment to Mr. Craig's property.  Of course the only way to enforce the signs is to call the police and file charges but I suspect Mr. Craig posted the property more as a way to put violators on notice than to drag people into court at this point in time.  Also, by posting the no trepass notices Mr. Craig may absolve himself of liability if someone hurts themself on his property which might have been a concern if the kids were dirt biking there.

I had kids using my driveway as a skateboard ramp. I told them to stop. Their parents thought I was being a jerk. Who knows, this could have been their child -'s never popular to limit other people's use of your property. Good luck keeping them off the rope swing. Fortunately, there is no street attached. 

I hope he doesn't mind us walking through his property to get to the public trails.  I don't blame him for tearing the bike jumps down for liability reasons, but I would love to continue to run back there, and don't want to be trespassing.  He (or someone) should print a trail map that clearly denotes which trails we are allowed to be on. When you are out there it's impossible to tell when you are on private property and when you are on public property.  

I went running there on Tuesday and didn't see any signs, nor any sign of new bike-related construction.

Thanks for raising this Brooke.  Most people just enjoy this beautiful land responsibly but over the years there have been people camping out, building jumps and damaging it -- understandably this has upset the owner.  I agree that Craig is most concerned about the erosion caused by cyclists.  Earlier Dave Otto removed the jumps with assistance from volunteers as a way to help address the problem. Too bad this was not sufficient. --Julie

What is the problem with respecting it?  Would you allow cyclists to run through your front yard?

I was out there today and it seems like the jumps are getting bigger, some almost 5' high. The litter over at that bike track is getting ridiculous. It is obvious where the traffic is coming from, Ironwoods Sub. BUT it is not as bad as UNC cutting all those 80+ year old oaks and other beautiful trees under the flight path just north of there.


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