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Running, walking, hiking, biking, paddling, climbing

Living the active life in North Carolina

Next week, Take a Child Outside

In 2005, author Richard Louv came out with his groundbreaking “Last Child in the Woods,” an account of how our kids have gone from being weaned in the wild to garrisoned in the great room in less than a generation. Within a year, Liz Baird, director of school programs for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, had launched Take A Child Outside Week, an effort to ensure that for at…

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This weekend: Get a jump on fall 

Technically, it may still be summer (fall starts a week from Friday, on Sept. 22), but the weather suggests the season is well underway. Sunny skies, dry air, temperatures in the 70s and low 80s: weather that beckons with a seductive come-hither finger to come outside and have some fun. Coast One of the outdoor pleasures we don’t indulge in often enough: paddling a coastal creek. There’s an odd intimacy…

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Mountains-to-Sea Trail in a Day — and throughout the fall

As we watched the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in a Day tally map go from red to green, as we read the comments from hikers sharing their experiences on Facebook and Instagram, and as we shared the day on the trail with more than 50 other hikers, a thought occurred: How awesome to have more than 1,700 hikers on the MST in just one day! How even more awesome to keep those…

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This weekend: MST in a Day 

We’ll ‘fess up up front: We’ve been working with the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to help them promote MST in a day, what the American Hiking Society believes would be the first time a long trail in the United States has had every inch hiked in a single day. That would be quite an achievement, and one we don’t want to leave to chance. As of Thursday afternoon, 245 legs of the…

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Three Great Opportunities for Backpackers

Just in time for autumn’s splendor, we’ve got three great ideas for both active and aspiring backpackers. Fall in North Carolina is the time to go backpacking. Daytime highs gradually dip and overnight lows are perfect for snugging into a down bag and getting a long night’s rest. From Shining Rock to the Smokies, the AT to the MST, the woods beckon for an extended stay. The glorious yellows, reds…

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10 Things to Do Before Summer Ends

Labor Day weekend marks the end of wearing white shoes and seersucker suits. And it also marks the end of several summertime frivolities. Of course, officially, summer doesn’t end until Sept. 22 (at 4:02 p.m. for you sticklers). Psychologically, though, this weekend is it. You have until Tuesday to squeeze in all the things you meant to do this summer, but didn’t get around to. Here is a list of…

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Linville Gorge, where miles are measured differently

“We’ve only done five miles?” one of the backpackers asked with a mix of disbelief and despair. “Yes,” I said, “but they’re likely the hardest five miles you’ve ever done.” Until tomorrow. I kept that last part to myself. Our nine-person GetBackpacking! group had started that morning at 9 from our campsite atop Shortoff Mountain on the east rim of Linville Gorge. We followed the MST on a steep descent…

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Grow the awe of the eclipse

Hard to say which was the most spectacular phenomenon Monday afternoon: the moon blotting out the sun or the event itself blotting out everything else. For a couple hours on Monday afternoon we were all focused on the awesomeness of nature. Some made a holiday of it, ignoring dire warnings from the NCDOT about driving to the Zone of Totality. Some simply stepped out into their backyards when the time…

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This weekend: Embrace the approaching gloom

Don’t forget your eclipse-viewing safety glasses! Based on dire warnings from N.C. Department of Transportation message boards statewide (“Plan Ahead”!), we’re guessing that pert near everyone is resting up this weekend for the day of gathering gloom on Monday. Thus, we focus on events focused on the Sun’s disappearance Monday afternoon around 2:30. Coast The North Carolina coast is outside the range of total obliteration; Wilmington, at 96 percent obfuscation,…

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Celebrate the Dark of Day!

The event poster reads like that for a rock extravaganza a la Lalapalooza or Coachella: Get Here Early! Gates open at 5 a.m.! Stay All Day! Food trucks! Vendors! Live streaming! Don’t you dare miss it … ! In fact, it’s the poster promoting Total Solar Eclipse 2017 at Gorges State Park, part of the normally staid North Carolina State Park system. North Carolina, and the mountains in particular, are…

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