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Running, walking, hiking, biking, paddling, climbing

Living the active life in North Carolina

This weekend: Explore, Party 

This week, hikes and a paddle with something extra. Coast | Coastal Plain Exploring is great. Exploring with a party thrown in, even greater! That’s the situation Saturday at Lumber River State Park, site of the Lumber River Day Festival 2017. There’s exploring, in the form of free canoe rides on the Lumber River. And there’s fun stuff in the form of bluegrass music, pony rides, a casting contest (for kids),…

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Hydration: A word about your drinking problem

With temperatures throughout the region expected to flirt with the 100 this week, it’s a good time to talk about your drinking problem. As in, you don’t drink enough. And in this heat especially, that’s a problem. Here are some quick FAQs on staying hydrated: How much do I need to drink? The Mayo Clinic says that for everyday survival, men need to consume about three liters (13 cups, three…

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This weekend: Get out and learn a thing or two

Moving is good. Learning something while you’re on the move is even better. This weekend is a good one for learning on the move. Coast For many, the key to getting active is to resist the urge to overindulge at the start and expect immediate results. That’s why so many New Year’s resolutions go kaput before January is over: you expect to become Charles (or Charlene) Atlas in just two…

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Backpacking: Hiking with sleepovers

So, you’ve been enjoying your walks in the woods and maybe you’re wondering what it might be like to stay a bit longer—overnight, even. We can help you. Ever since I wrote Backpacking North Carolina in 2011, I’ve been on a mission to dispel the myths of backpacking. Like the idea that you have to sleep on the cold, hard ground, eat beans out of a can, and hike 20…

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GetBackpacking! Up your game

As a backpacker, you already know the joy of heading into the woods with everything you need strapped snugly to your back. You love setting up your home-away-from-home, unfurling your sleeping bag and snugging in under the stars. You know also that the journey from the trailhead to the sleeping bag is not without challenges—maybe the trail is a bit more rugged than anticipated or there are water crossing; the…

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Trekking poles: Jennifer Pharr Davis uses them (so should you!)

“I couldn’t go back to the trail without my stick! The constant ups and downs with 30 pounds on my back were very hard on my knees, and without a stick they would be unbearable. My hiking stick had become an extension of my hand — I was lost without it.” That’s 33-year-old Jennifer Pharr Davis of Asheville, who has hiked more than 13,000 miles on six continents, including a…

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This weekend: Get wet, go high 

Another hot, summery weekend is on tap, which means you have two choices for outdoor fun: get wet or go high. Coast Not that you need a reason to visit the Great Dismal Swamp, but if you did … Saturday, join a ranger on an intimate Summer Paddle of the Dismal Swamp Canal at Dismal Swamp State Park north of Elizabeth City. Everything you need — boat, paddle, PFD, basic…

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10 Especially Appropriate Independence Day Hikes  

As you contemplate your plans to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, contemplate this: what would be the most appropriate way to celebrate your independence, that sense of truly expressing your freedom? With a hike, of course. In honor of Independence Day, we’ve come up with 11 hikes that capture — in name at least — the spirit of the day. Find one near you and enjoy. (For additional information, check the…

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This weekend: Celebrate your Outdoor Independence 

    Coast Since this is a special weekend, extending to Wednesday for many of you, we’re throwing the 4th into the mix — and one of the best displays of brightness lighting up the sky that you’re likely to see: the Cosmos & Cocoa display on Bald Head Island. Take advantage of Bald Head Island’s removed location and minimal nighttime light pollution to catch the night sky ablaze. “Use…

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Four ways to celebrate the Roan Highlands

I ran into an old camping acquaintance Sunday in the Wilson Creek area Sunday and we spent a few minutes updating one another on our travels. Among her recent exploits: a February visit to Roan Mountain. Roan Mountain in February? I thought. Risky business being above 6,000 feet in the dead of winter. A better time, I thought, would be … right now. Massive Roan Mountain straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee…

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