Archive for the ‘Hiking’ category

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…

Your weekend: Holiday Hikes 

First, a note that all North Carolina State Parks and most municipal and county parks are closed Christmas Day (Sunday). Thus, if you plan any park exploring, best get it in Saturday (or Friday!). That said … . Coast | Coastal Plain Got visiting kin who could use a bit of movement and wouldn’t mind learning about North Carolina history? Load ‘em in the car Saturday morning and head them…

A present opened early

We like to ward off the beginning of the work-week blues with a thought about life on the outside. Today, I get to open an early Christmas present, a present that’s been sitting under the tree for three months. Duke Forest. In September, I relocated my office to Durham, to a location based in part on its nearness to our new home in Hillsborough, in part based on the reasonable…

Your weekend: Embrace the cold

With the weather officially dipping into Brrrr territory, to help you stay warm and moving we suggest you do the following: Coast Isn’t some of what makes the weather getting colder so sweet, the appreciation we have for a nice, hot meal? Saturday, you’ll get the chance to experience just that. Help wrap up North Carolina State Parks’ 100 Year Anniversary with Goose Creek State Park’s campfire cooking program. Some…

90 Second Escape: A Walk into Winter

Wednesday, Hump Day. The memories of your weekend adventures are too distant to cling to, the prospects of adventure over the weekend ahead too distant to ponder. To help you over these midweek blues, every Wednesday we visually take you to a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. Today’s 90-Second Escape: Walk…

Winter: Low Expectations — and High Rewards

We like to ward off the beginning of the work-week blues with a thought about life on the outside. Its skies are milky, indifferent. Its landscape monochromatic, a wash of grays and browns. Its weather harsh at times.And Lord knows the season is stingy with sunlight. The stuff of travel & tourism ad campaigns winter is not. Perhaps that’s exactly why winter succeeds with so many of us, those who…

Monday, Monday: An hour a day 

We like to ward off the beginning of the work-week blues with a thought about life on the outside. When I was in my late 20s, I worked as a technical writer for a military contractor. I liked the work; trouble was, because it was a military contract, there were long stretches where there was no work to be done while we awaited approvals. Oddly, it was one of the…