To hike, or not to hike. That was the question Monday upon waking to see that not only were Sunday’s 11 inches of snow still on the ground, but Mother Nature was adding another two. The second hike in our Tuesday Night Hikes series was scheduled for the next evening, on a stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake; looking out the window, I wondered if we could pull if off.
Last week’s post on trail etiquette prompted a reader to note we had neglected one particularly important area: dogs.
“Also, please leash your pets,” Jennifer commented on our Facebook page. “I know they love to run, but some of us have been attacked and this situation makes me a nervous wreck.”
On a recent Sunday at crowded Umstead State Park, we honestly weren’t looking to get all Miss Manners on our trail companions. But events conspired to make apparent that it’s time for a reminder about trail etiquette.
Here are a few things to keep in mind on the trail:
Come late fall and winter, temperatures in the Piedmont slip into the 30s and 40s. At the coast, though, they remain comfortably in the 50s, even 60s. It’s cool enough to keep mosquitoes and no-see-ums at bay, and perfect weather for a hike.
Two of our favorite coastal hikes will be included in our GetHiking! Classic Escapes Weekend on Nov. 2-4.
It’s been a toasty first week of October, but the forecast for the weekend calls for cooling and temperatures of a more seasonal nature. That said, some thoughts on how you can get out and enjoy an adventurous weekend.
- GetHiking! Triangle: 5 Miles on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake, Durham. Saturday, 9 a.m. Record heat has kept fall color at bay, but it’s a good bet we’ll see some on this hike that includes ecosystems that tend to promote early color. One of the more remote stretches of the MST through the Triangle. Learn more and sign up here.
- Vade Mecum Trails Open, Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The first weekend of every month, this new section of Hanging Rock State Park opens its trails for hiking, taking you into remote parts of the Sauratown Range and past remnants of the area’s past as Camp Sertoma. Learn more here.
- Fall Hike Along Commissary Trail, Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville (sorta). 2 miles. Sunday, 10 a.m. A ranger-led hike on this trail just below the ridgeline of the Black Mountain Crest, the highest mountain range on the East Coast. Expect cold temperatures and good color at this elevation. Learn more here.
You can find more opportunities this weekend here: