Cherry Point Activities
The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point offers a variety of interesting sights surrounding the base, ensuring that there are plenty of Cherry Point Activities to enjoy. As you leave the base, the big buildings recede in the rearview mirror and even the sprawling baseball and softball fields, swimming pools and tennis courts, eventually fade away. A railroad track runs along a forlorn stretch of the road with a slow-moving string of freight cars carrying jet fuel, and MPs (military police) flank the procession, stopping traffic as needed and keeping a sharp eye on things.
On a chain-link fence, a dozen or so sheets have been painted and hung, “Welcome Home” followed by a name and a rank. Where the landscape turns more green and leafy, a roadside sign designates the location of the EAD game warden-Environmental Affairs Department-and Strickland says there is some hunting on the air station, depending on the season and the rules and regulations, and the popular sport is shooting waterfowl.
Around the next bend, a herd of horses graze in a pasture. These are the first signs of a country club atmosphere that becomes increasingly evident at this end of the base. “You can become part of the horseback riding group or program and either pay or help out,” said Corporal Lisa Strickland with the Public Affairs Office. “If you want to saddle up and go riding, there is a way to become a member.”
Two sun-dappled marinas take full advantage of their strategic positions on major waterways. These Cherry Point real estate lots offer beautiful waterway views. Pelican Point is on Slocum Creek and Hancock Marina is on the Neuse River. Options in both places are wide open either to rent canoes and kayaks or dock a private boat. Sailboats of all sizes reside at Hancock Marina, home of the air station’s yacht club.
At the Sound of Freedom Golf Course, also located on the river, another construction site is disrupting the scenery, this one in later stages of development than the headquarters building. Strickland says the old officers club was torn down due to asbestos, and a new staff NCO (noncommissioned officer) and officers consolidated club will open next year with a restaurant, an open area suitable for the annual ball, two different bars-one for officers, one for staff NCOs-and a wide veranda overlooking the water.
Truly this could be a scene from one of the fanciest venues on Long Island, if it weren’t for that F-4 mounted on prominent display at the center of it all, otherwise known as The Phantom. It is one of three static displays, including a Harrier at the main gate and an EA-6A elsewhere.
Aviation is never far from sight, even off-base, driving down Highway 70 with an ever-descending jet churning the air overhead and drowning out the car’s sound system. Local drivers swear the large and low-flying air traffic would likely take off the car’s roof if it had a second coat of paint on it.