It’s the first official weekend of summer (it punches in/punched in at 11:54 a.m.), so let us go in search of summer like things to do. But first …
The naysayers have a way of twisting the good news of summer: It may be the start of summer, but the days start getting shorter now. Technically, yes. But only incrementally. And, in fact, official sunset continues to extend until a week from today: Tonight, official sunset is at 8:34:06 p.m., on June 28 it won’t set until 8:45:50 p.m.! (You know what that also means: if actual daylight begins to decrease, but the sun is staying up longer, then the difference must be absorbed by sunrise! The sun is getting up later — more time to sleep in.) Through July 30, the sun won’t set before 8:20, and it’s still up past 8 well into mid-August.
So yes, we will start losing some daylight. But we’ve still got plenty of after work sun through the rest of summer. Enjoy!
Now, on to how you can celebrate the start of summer this weekend:
Summer Paddle, Saturday, 10 a.m. Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills. What says summer more than paddling? And what says summer paddling more than summer paddling in a swamp! Actually, it’s in the Dismal Swamp Canal, which is more of an open water experience. All pertinent equipment provided, and it’s free, but space is limited: reserve a spot by calling 252.771.6593. Learn more about the trip and the park here.
Streamside Hike, Saturday, 11 a.m., South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs. The next best thing to being in the water on a hot summer’s day? Being along it. Join a ranger and hike up Jacob Fork, which has all the attributes of a mountain stream (which it should, because it is in the South Mountains, a spinoff of the Blue Ridge Mountains, south of Morganton). Learn more here.
Mount Jefferson Birding Hike, 8 a.m., Sunday, Mount Jefferson State Park, West Jefferson. Three things we do on summer adventures to beat the heat: head out early, head to the top of a mountain, never get far from water. This hike has two of the three. And birds! (Bring binos and your favorite bird guide.) Learn more here.
GetHiking! this weekend
What are our GetHiking! groups in North Carolina and Virginia up to this weekend? Plenty, thanks for asking …
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Browns Hollow and Emerald Pond Circuit, Saturday, June 22, 8:15 a.m. UVA North Research Park, Charlottesville. Strenuous. 11 miles. High highlights: Wildflower Trail, Browns Hollow, Browns Hollow Trail. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Montpelier and Confederate Winter Camp, Sunday, June 23, 10 a.m. 1820 Abbey Road, Charlottesville. Easy. 6-mile hike through a historic confederate camp and meadows. Learn more here.
Live the video
This week’s video comes from last Saturday’s GetHiking! Triangle hike at Duke Forest in Durham. Specifically, from a hike in the Korstian Division of the forest, entering at Gate 23 off Mount Sinai Road. Learn more about exploring Duke Forest here.
Looking for more options for weekend adventure? Check out our GetOut! Find An Adventure resource page here.