Archive for the ‘Hiking’ category

Hiking: Better late than never

The following originally appeared in October of 2013. We re-run it today, updated, with a tweak or two “Uh!” Kathy groaned about three quarters of the way up the grinding march up to Moore’s Knob at Hanging Rock State Park. “I wish I’d started doing this when I was younger.” “Better late than never,” her sister Judy offered. “Yeah,” I added, “and hiking is something you can do for another…

This weekend: Polar Plunge, History Hike, Nature Hike

Is this the weekend you take your first dip of 2017 in the Atlantic? Perhaps you’re more interested in a hike into history. Or maybe it’s when you take a class and learn not to bark up the wrong tree (so to speak). Coast Did you miss the chance to jump into an icy pool — the classic polar plunge — on New Year’s Day? Do you feel your year…

This weekend: Learn, churn 

Winter is a great time for learning a new skill (map and compass), marveling over mother nature (learning her mountaintop secrets), or testing your intestinal fortitude (the Krispy Kreme Challenge). Coast | coastal plain One of the most popular courses we offer through our Get! programs is GetOriented!, a three-hour class that gets explorers comfortable with map and compass and thus, more comfortable exploring the outdoors, especially on their own….

This weekend: Winter returns 

More seasonal temps descend this weekend. It will still be nice for a hike at the coast, and you’ll be able to hit the slopes in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont, you can take it inside for a chance to try a cool sport associated with the cold. Coast You stand on shore, you look out to any number of islands and think, “I wonder what’s out there?” Saturday…

Winter woods: Sounds in Silence

A dull, distant whirring, an intrusion of industrial origin that should have been distracting at the least. Instead, it was curiously reassuring. I was walking a stretch of the Eno River upstream from Durham, downstream from my home in Hillsborough. More rural than urban, but not entirely detached. I’d been faintly aware of the thrum of tires rolling down I-85 a half mile distant, fading in and out, of the…

Your weekend: Paddle, run, learn 

The standup paddlers takes to the chilly waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, runners take to the trails of the National Whitewater Center, and nature lovers learn a thing or two at Grandfather Mountain. There may be a little rain in the forecast, but that’s no reason to stay inside on an active North Carolina weekend. Coast Think of it as a race and go for the cash prizes, think of…

The Uwharries, and other forgotten mountains

“These mountains are killing me.” I was glad to hear my new trail friend echo my thoughts. Glad as well to hear him refer to the Uwharries as “these mountains.” The Uwharries are typically referred to as mountains, though the “mountains” part is often uttered with an implied snicker. As in, They may be mountains in name, but they certainly aren’t the Appalachians. And they aren’t. But they are surprisingly…

Your weekend: More seasonable, more options 

The snow and bitter cold are gone. Time to get back out and explore! Coast | Coastal Plain There’s something extra special about the Coastal Plain in winter. The still air, the open views, the absence of flying biting things. All of which makes it a great time for a hike, to learn, perhaps about the phenomenon known as Carolina Bays. What are Carolina Bays? you inquire. Sorry, you’ll have…

The RDU Solution: Let’s think big

Several years ago, when Keith Nealson was a ranger at Umstead State Park, I nearly had him talked into a canoe trip down Crabtree Creek through the park. Alas, he transferred (he’s now the superintendent of Eno River State Park) and the trip never advanced beyond talk. But the idea has lingered. It’s come to the fore of late with talk of creating a Trails Center on about 600 acres…

An active 2017 starts on Day One

We like to ward off the beginning of the work-week blues with thoughts about life on the outside. It’s only one day. But it’s a day that can make a difference. Sunday is the first day of the new year. Dating back 4,000 years to the Babylonians, we’ve looked at the day as a time for renewal and rebirth. We vow to be better people, we pledge to take better…