After about two years of controversy over mountain biking in Rich Fork Preserve, followed by two more years of work on the property, Guilford County is now getting ready to open the long awaited park at 407 W. Parris Avenue in High Point.

On Tuesday, March 12, John Gladstone, the Guilford County parks supervisor for passive parks who has been overseeing the work, was walking the preserve and checking to see what final steps needed to be taken in preparation of the coming May opening.

Gladstone said Guilford County closed the park, chained off the entrance and put up signs to that effect about two years ago, but he added that, of course, some people still come in and use the park even though it’s officially closed.

Gladstone said that, as he walked a trail on Tuesday, for instance, he saw clear evidence that someone had ridden a horse through there. (The Rhino Timesdoes not believe he was referring to hoof marks as his evidence.)

He said that there’s still some work to be done before the park’s grand opening in two months, but he added that the county’s citizens should be very pleased with the finished product.

The preserve has a farmhouse and other quaint structures, trails for bikers and hikers, and a lot of pretty scenery.

“It’s a beautiful property,” Gladstone said.

He said that, though it was once used often by bikers years ago even though the park wasn’t open, he didn’t see any bike tracks on his walk-thru on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, March 12, the Guilford County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board met and discussed the final touches that are needed before the park opens.

Guilford County Parks is hosting a volunteer “Cleanup Day” at Rich Fork Preserve on Saturday, March 30, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

County staff is preparing for what will be the “Grand Opening of Phase 1” and staff is therefore asking for assistance with trash cleanup and hand-cut trail work.  So, if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor and have some community service time you’re required to serve – or if you just want to help out – contact the county.

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but one will be provided to volunteers following the cleanup – though, on second thought, they clearly worked hard for that lunch.

Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register online at: