North Carolina || The Greenway
Asheville's sort-of-secret nature park
The Greenway is what folks call the rambling property of John Cram, Asheville's patron-capitalist, who bought up local real estate in the early 90s and began the area's transformation from bombed-out mountain mill town into the vibrant Appalachian art mecca it is today.
Mr. Cram lives in a fairly modest home on a few acres of wooded property, in a venerable section of Asheville. As part of his beneficence to the community, he keeps his grounds well-maintained and quietly open to the public.
Those who know come to roam the wooded paths, down to where the property backs up against a lake (whose name I can't divulge because that would be telling).
Matt tells me that kids who play there call it "Narnia."
Matt apologized on the day he took me there--in the spring and summer, he says, the place explodes with color.
I found it pretty satisfyingly explosive, even in late fall.