A little confession: this week’s video isn’t from this past week. It’s from a year ago, almost to the day. We share it again because it reflects the weather pattern from a year ago: rain during the week, then three days of sunshine and cold overnight temps. The perfect formula for letting loose the kind of color we hope to find in the woods on a fall weekend. The kind of color we expect you’ll find on this fall weekend. That said, some thoughts on how to best enjoy color on the weekend ahead …
Gorges Gorgeous Colors, Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Gorges State Park, Sapphire. They aren’t being coy about the focus of this most-of-the-day outing sponsored by the Friends of Gorges. Meet at the Visitor Center, then expect to head into the rugged terrain bordering the South Carolina border for some spectacular viewing. Big advantage to a hike like this? You’ll be with someone who can tell you which trees are what color. Learn more here.
Autumn Boat Tour, Saturday, 1:45 – 3:15 p.m., Lake James State Park, Nebo. Fall color is always a little more dazzling along the water. That’s especially true at Lake James, which butts up against the Pisgah National Forest and Linville Gorge, offering hillsides of color rising from the lake. We suggest partnering the boat trip with a hike on the Fonta Flora Trail, which will offer a more intimate, land-past perspective on the fall color scene. Learn more and sign up (the boat tour is limited to eight participants) here.
Jomeokee Hike, Sunday, 10 a.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. The beauty of this hike is that from a perch 1,700 feet above the surrounding countryside, you’ll see color breaking out in all directions — as well as to the west, in the Blue Ridge. Another beauty: the hike’s time. Weekend’s are generally jam-packed atop Pilot Mountain — but not so much early Sunday morning. 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: Duncan and Strickler Knob Circuit, Saturday, October 19, 8:15 a.m., 4105 Lewis and Clark Dr., Charlottesville. Strenuous. 10 miles. Hike highlights: Scothorn Gap Trail, Massanutten Trail, Gap Creek Trail, the boulder field of Duncan Knob, the rock scramble of Strickler Knob, two 360 degree views from Duncan Knob and Strickler Knob, Peach Orchard Gap. Learn more here.
GetHiking!Triangle: Saturday Morning on the MST, Saturday, October 19, 9 a.m., Shinleaf Recreation Area, Falls Lake, Raleigh. Moderately easy. 5.2-mile hike through rolling terrain. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Hanging Rock from Love Gap, Sunday, October 20, 8 a.m. Fontaine Research Park, Charlottesville. 7 miles “with rocky terrain and a couple tough climbs to get to Hanging Rock with 270 degree views of the valleys and the Priest.” Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlotte: Balsam Lake Lodge Hiking Trip, Sunday, Oct. 20 thru Tuesday, Oct. 22, Balsam Lake Lodge, Tuckasegee. Three days of hiking plus food and a wine and beer tasting. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Dobie Mountain, Monday, October 21, 9 a.m., Humpback Rocks parking area, Lyndhurst, Va. Moderate to moderately strenuous. 6.8 miles. Learn more here.
Live the video
Today’s video is from Umstead State Park, the most visited state park in North Carolina. Not surprising, in part, since it’s in the state’s second largest metropolitan area, Not surprising, too, considering the serene escape this 5,600-acre oasis provides. Learn more about paying a visit here.
More weekend options
Looking for more options for weekend adventure? Check out our GetOut! Find An Adventure resource page here.