It’s been cool most of the week throughout our blogging area, and it will be cool again at least on Saturday, making this the perfect summer weekend to get in a hike.
Mount Jefferson Downhill Skateboarding Event, Saturday and Sunday, starts at 9 a.m. both days, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. Scratching your head, are you? Here’s the deal: The 1.6-mile road to the summit of 4,683-foot Mount Jefferson will be closed to vehicles both days to accommodate the mountain’s annual downhill skateboard race. Yup, youngsters on skateboards — more than 100 of ‘em — will skateboard down the mountain, dropping more than 700 vertical feet along the way. However, there will be shuttle service to the top of the mountain: park at the Lowe’s in West Jefferson and take a shuttle to the top, where you can hike the park’s 5 miles of trail. And you can check out the race as well. (FYI, one of the sponsors for the race, the Ian Tilmann Foundation, will be giving helmets to the first 100 kids who sign a pledge to wear a helmet while skateboarding.) Learn more about the race here and hiking at Mount Jefferson here.
Ranger-led Hike on the Profile Trail, Sunday, 10 a.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk. Think of Grandfather Mountain and you think of winging bridges and wild weather. That’s all on top of the mountain. At the base, on the massif’s northwest flank, lies the start of the Profile Trail, which revels in stately Southern Appalachian hardwoods and tranquil hiking. Join a ranger to explore this softer side of old Grandad on a 2-mile, 2-hour hike. Learn more and sign up here.
Sunday Morning Birdwalk, Sunday, 8 a.m., Eno River State Park, Durham. Ever walk through the woods in the early morning, hear the avian chatter and wonder who’s talking — and what they’re saying. Eavesdrop with a ranger on this leisurely 2-mile hike. Learn more and sign up here.
GetHiking! this weekend
What are our GetHiking! groups in North Carolina and Virginia up to this weekend? Plenty, thanks for asking …
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Three Falls Circuit,Saturday, July 27, 8:15 am. 4105 Lewis and Clark Dr, Charlottesville. Strenuous. 9.3-miles. Hike highlights: Big Meadows Campground, Fishers Gap, Fishers Gap Overlook. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Triangle: Saturday Saunter on Mountain-to-Sea Trail,Saturday, July 27, 9:00 a.m. Red Mill Road Public Fishing Access, Durham. Moderate.5-mile stretch through meadows, rail lines, and sights of Falls Lake. Learn more here.
Live the video
The Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock Wilderness in the Nantahala National Forest, coupled with the adjoining Citico Creek Wilderness in adjoining Tennessee, make up more than 35,000 acres of some of the wildest terrain on the East Coast. GetBackpacking! spent four days exploring the wilderness this past weekend, and will return next year. Until then, learn more about the area’s trails here.
Looking for more options for weekend adventure? Check out our GetOut! Find An Adventure resource page here.