We’ve got another gift-of-fall weekend coming up. There might be some rain Sunday, but at this point Saturday looks ideal, with lots of sun and temperatures in the upper 50s to upper 60s. So many ways to take advantage of weather like this, weather that won’t be around a lot longer. And as today’s video shows, there’s finally good color moving into the Piedmont.
Some thoughts on your weekend adventure plans:
Friends Hike: Rumbling Bald Ridge, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock. Several reasons to love this hike: 1. Fall color will be in full swing, and the conditions have been good in the Hickory Nut Gorge area to make this year’s show especially vibrant; 2. This is a section of the park you likely haven’t explored: from Rumbling Bald to Party Rock; 3. If you’re wondering why seven hours are allotted for a 3.8-mile hike, well, you’ll just need to sign up to learn the answer. And you will have to sign up, because space is limited: 828.625.1823. Learn more about the hike here.
7th Annual Dismal Day, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills. “Dismal Day” — just the name makes you want to show up to see what it could possibly be about. What it’s about, as a spoiler, is music, arts, crafts, games, and a 5K. A Dismal t-shirt to commemorate your hopefully not-so-dismal day in the swamp. Learn more here.
Fall Color Hike, Sunday, 2 p.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. For just as the Saura Indians once stood watch atop mighty Jomeokee for the first sight of intruders, a park ranger will conduct a summit sentry in search of the first signs of fall color encroaching from the west. Vigilance! 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: Explore Yogaville, Friday, October 25, 8:15 a.m., Wegmans, Charlottesville. Easy to Moderate. 5 miles through rocky terrain and a local organic farm. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Trayfoot and Paine Run Circuit, Saturday, October 26, 8:30 a.m., 400 Ray C Hunt Drive, Charlottesville. Strenuous. 9.2-miles. Hike highlights: Blackrock Gap, Skyline Drive, Appalachian Trail. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Triangle: 5 Peaks of Hanging Rock, Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m. Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. Moderately Strenuous. 10.5-miles overlooking each of the five peaks in Hanging Rock State Park. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlotte: South Mountains, Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m., South Mountain State Park, Connelly Springs. Strenuous. 9 miles through scenic views and rocky terrain. Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlotte: Ghost Hike at Crowders, Sunday, October 27, 8:30 a.m. Crowders Mountain State Park, Charlottesville. Moderate to Difficult. 9 miles along flat terrain and visiting some spooky spots … . Learn more here.
GetHiking! Charlottesville: Fisher Gap, Sunday, October 27, 9 a.m. Barracks Road Shopping Center, Charlottesville. Moderately Difficult. 6.2-mile through the Central District of Shenandoah National Forest. Learn more here.
Live the video
James M. Johnston Nature Preserve … . Not ringing a bell? How about the Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail? A slight tinkle, maybe? The two are attached and make for about 3 miles of unique hiking on the east side of Hillsborough. The Occoneechee Speedway Trail is actually a 1-mile dirt oval that, a half century ago, hosted NASCAR races. Today, nature has reclaimed much of the track, but the bleachers and some outbuildings remain. Next door is the James M. Johnston Nature Preserve, through which a mile-long stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes. It’s a surprisingly rugged stretch as well, with a good hill climb, lots of rock outcrop and some deep coves. A worthy weekend destination that you can learn more about here.
More weekend options
Looking for more options for weekend adventure? Check out our GetOut! Find An Adventure resource page here.