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What’s that smell at Pilot Mountain?

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Some have noticed odors along the Pilot Mountain Corridor that are coming from chicken farming operations near their home. (Lauren Carroll/Journal)

SHOALS, N.C. – Weather conditions were not ideal on that chilly day last month for the unmistakable odor of chicken-farm operations to travel far, but the odor still found a group of state park officials walking a section of Pilot Mountain State Park known as the corridor trail, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

A 25-minute drive from Winston-Salem, the trail offers an outdoor escape from city life. The trail, 6.6 miles long, connects the Yadkin River with the base of Pilot Mountain in Surry County. On both sides of the trail, rows of trees stand tall. They bend with the wind. With each lazy creak, they almost mimic the sound of industrious woodpeckers. At certain points of the trail, creeks trickle over rocks. Squirrels scatter at the sound of footsteps.

On Feb. 20, Dave Cook, the North District superintendent of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, and other state park officials visited the trail.

“It was very cold and the wind was light so these were probably not the optimal conditions to detect the odor,” Cook said in an email provided to the Winston-Salem Journal. “However, we all could smell it lightly when we were down in one draw.” And conditions will likely worsen when summer arrives. “Probably, warmer weather and wind from the right direction would have elevated the odor.”

Chicken-farm operations in Surry County can produce an overwhelming odor brewed from manure, feed and carcasses – an odor that occasionally lands on sections of Pilot Mountain State Park, one of North Carolina’s jewel tourist attractions, according to interviews with park officials and Surry residents.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal