The 1,100-acre Pinnacle Park west of Asheville remains closed after a runner’s foot was impaled by a nail purposely placed on a popular trail that leads to the Black Rock Summit.
Brian Barwatt, an engineer with the Department of Transportation, and the race director of the Assault on Black Rock, a trail race in Pinnacle Park in March, was at the park Monday with the Sylva police chief Davis Woodard, town maintenance workers and other volunteers scouting out more nails.
Since Saturday, 40 nails hammered into tree roots and logs have been found, Barwatt said.
“On Saturday we found eight in an isolated area and thought we had it contained, but when we explored more, we found it was more than we could handle ourselves and I called the police chief,” Barwatt said.
“We’re literally blowing every leaf off trail, and following behind with metal detectors. “It was a deliberate effort. Someone hammered 4-inch long galvanized nails and left them sticking out a half- to 1 inch, and at an angle so they’re like spikes.”
One person was hurt and another stepped on a nail that went through his shoe but didn’t hurt his foot.
“It’s hard to believe someone would do this and put a lot of effort in to doing this,” Barwatt said.
The East Fork and West Fork trails, each 3.5 miles long, lead to the Black Rock summit on a mixed gravel road and single track terrain, completely surrounded by woods in a remote area of town.
“We want to assure people we’re taking this very seriously and taking care of it swiftly,” he said.
There is a $1,000 reward leading to information about the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sylva Police Department at 828-586-2916