The world may be closing down but our trails remain open! We offer some tips for hikers used to heading out on group hikes, who now find themselves heading out on their own.
Before our GetBackpacking! trip last weekend on the 22-mile Neusiok Trail, we had a little hygiene talk: Share a little less on this hike, I advised. Handle your own water, resist the urge to sample a fellow hiker’s Cherry Cocoa Nib dehydrated breakfast. But I also said we would be spending the weekend in one of the safest places around: the wide-open spaces of the outdoors: few people, lots of room to breath in peace. Our typically worry-free playground seemed even more so in these uncertain times.
Here’s what’s up the first full weekend in March, a weekend that, in the wee hours of Sunday, see’s the clock spring forward. Remember that when you tuck in Saturday night.
First Saturday Walk at Horton Grove Nature Preserve, Saturday, 10 a.m., Horton Grove Nature Preserve, Bahama. Horton Grove is one of the few area hikes we keep on our calendar year-round. It’s ample canopy offers cooler hiking below in summer, fall color here can be hue-tastic, its open forest floor offers lingering views in winter and on the cusp of spring you’ll think the season was invented here. Saturday’s First Saturday hike by the managing Triangle Land Conservancy should offer a particularly insightful look at the season. For more information and to sign up, go here.
A couple years back I was in need of a destination for our annual winter GetBackpacking! trip to the coast. Typically, the trip is on the 21-mile Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest near Havelock. Unfortunately, the Neusiok was closed, still feeling the wrath of Hurricane Florence’s visit the previous fall. People love backpacking at the coast in winter, and I needed an alternative. Scanning a map, I locked onto Merchants Millpond State Park.
One of the goals of our monthly Winter Wild series, which takes hikers to the places they know, then takes them to off trail to the places they don’t, is to expose the hidden human history of where we explore. Sometimes that human history is maybe just 50 years distant. Sometimes, it’s more than 1,000. More often than not when you stumble upon an old foundation, a filling root cellar, or a long-abandoned roadbed, you’re left to speculate about their origins. On this Sunday’s Eno River Association Hike from the Few’s Ford Access, you’ll get a pretty complete story.