Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is the trail closed?
A: The park staff will close the trail to protect it from damage. Typically, this will be for approximately 24 hours after a moderate rainfall. Large amounts of rain or several days of rain may close the trail for longer periods of time. If in doubt, call the park office at (704) 528-6350
Q: What are the park hours?
A: The park changes hours seasonally. Hours are posted on the Lake Norman State Park web site.
Q: What is "Itusi"?
A: When we were looking to name the trail, we wanted to have a memorable name but one with some meaning. Many of the North Carolina trails carry Indian names such as Tsali and Nantahala. The Catawba Indians were native to the area, so I contacted the Catawba Cultural Center for help. I asked for Catawba words for native animals, volunteers and trails. We were given a list of possibilities and chose Itusi which means "hawk." The name recognizes a native park animal plus the original inhabitants of the area.
Q: What is Monbo?
A: Each loop of the park needs a unique name which has to be approved by the NC parks system. We try to bring some meaning to each name. The Norwood Creek and Hicks Creek loops are named for adjacent creeks. The Hawk Loop takes its name from the native species. The Monbo Loop was harder to name. Monbo Road is close to the loop and is an interesting name. The original French settlers had a mill on the Catawba River named Mont Beaux which was "Americanized" to Monbo.
Q: How can I help?
A: 100% of the trail system has been built by unpaid volunteers. Riders and hikers just like you. To get involved, contact First Flight Bicycles at (704) 878-9683. The more you volunteer, the faster the trail gets built!
Q: What not to do?
A: The trail system in controlled by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources who have very strict rules as to what may be done in the park. We have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the park system that spells out the details on trail construction and maintenance. Please check before performing any work at the park. Things that are specifically prohibited include:
- Leaf blowing: The park staff believes that the leaves protect the trail from water damage.
- Stunt building: Man-made stunts or structures are prohibited. This includes modifying natural materials to build obstacles.
- "Pirate" trails: Please do not build new trail or alter existing trail. The trail corridor has been specifically designed to control erosion and stay out of environmentally sensitive areas.
The MOA also states that the trail system can be closed if the rules are not followed. The park staff is overburdened with their regular park duties and do not have the manpower to build and maintain trails. If the trails become too big of a burden, they can be closed.