American Rivers helped to transform Hitchcock Creek in Rockingham, North Carolina into a destination for fishing, boating, and other family-friendly recreation. Until 2009, the Steeles Mill dam degraded Hitchcock Creek, blocking migrating fish and preventing the community from safely enjoying the river through recreation. American Rivers and our partners removed the dam, and created a 14 mile Blue Trail.
As part of this effort, the City of Rockingham protected 90 acres of bottomland forest along the Blue Trail, protected 2-miles of riverside land through a conservation easement upstream of the former Steeles Mill Dam site, purchased two river access areas, and acquired a boat launch. Starting in Rockingham, the Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail offers paddlers an opportunity to explore the area’s diverse floodplain forests, historic mills remnants, and rare plants and animals. Rockingham sees their Blue Trail as an economic driver for the region and recognizes that a healthy Hitchcock Creek is vital its long-term success.