Beach trail is 'happy place'

Posted August 20, 2010 1:01 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2010 10:19 a.m. EDT

— North Carolinians feeling the stress of daily life can find peace in a small cranny carved through sand, brush and marsh just south of Kure Beach.

Television news photographer Dustin Etheridge said his profession had him in search of peace a couple years ago.

"From car wrecks to shooting and things like that, that kind of eats away at you. It's go-go nonstop," Etheridge said.

So Etheridge got in his car and headed to the beach. He discovered what he calls his "happy place" – the Basin Trail in the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

"There's not a lot of chaos here," Etheridge said. "I came on the trail and started walking. I was out here three hours that day."

Photographer Sarah Longworth said she practices her craft along the mile-long trail through marsh and brush.

"We like to do a lot of hiking. It doesn't have a lot of elevation, but there's a lot of nature here," Longworth said. "You don't have to worry about your job or your bills or how you're going to take care of this or that."

Etheridge said his biggest worry is whether to tell people about his happy place.

"They're missing out," he said.

Yet, he debated with himself: "I don't want too many people to come here. Then it might be over-populated."

In the end, Etheridge concluded: "You owe it to yourself to check it out."

Nearby attractions include the North Carolina Aquarium and Fort Fisher, as well as the beach.