GetHiking! A life on the trail

Moore's Knob at Hanging Rock State Park

GetHiking! is a series of programs (see below) designed for every level of hiker, from the novice who needs help with those first few steps to the seasoned hiker eager to North Carolina's most celebrated — and, occasionally, most challenging — trails. Our hikes explore a variety of trails, expanding your trail knowledge and hiking expertise, and giving you the confidence to explore tougher trails both here and elsewhere. GetHiking! is your first start to a lifetime of a lifelong pursuit.

What’s the difference between walking and hiking? Great question, especially considering that the authority on hiking and backpacking is called the Complete Walker IV. Colin Fletcher aside, basically, you walk on pavement, you hike on natural surface. Hiking is more challenging, with more ups and downs, more twists and turns, the occasional rocks and tree roots to navigate — and a whole lot more natural beauty to see and enjoy.

Why hike? Hiking is accessible (especially in trail-rich North Carolina), most people are physically able to do it, it doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s one of the most popular forms of outdoor recreation: according to the Outdoor Foundation, 24.2 million American adults took a hike in 2011, or more than one in every 10 U.S. adults. It’s an activity most of us can do for the rest of our lives.

Health benefits. The health benefits of hiking are numerous and well-documented. You can read more about specific health benefits under GetHiking! Health Benefits. Briefly, a steady diet of hiking and good nutrition can reduce your chances of heart disease; help control Type I diabetes and reverse the effects of Type II diabetes; lower your blood pressure and help control your weight. Plus, a walk in the woods does wonders for clearing your head — and that’s not us talking, that’s your endorphins.

Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake.

Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake.

How GetHiking! works. GetHiking! has several components:

* GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad, Triangle. Our regional programs offer regular hikes both locally and in the mountains. Our hikes are organized and announced through our local Meetup pages. All hikes are open to the public and provide a great way for graduates of our other programs to keep on hiking.
* GetHiking! The Classics. A new program for 2015. Each month we’ll hike one of North Carolina’s trademark trails. Participants will have the option of the full hike or a shorter version. Fee program. Details coming soon
* GetHiking! Corporate. A wellness program designed to introduce employees to hiking, a lifelong form of exercise offering physical and mental benefits. A variety of options are offered. Fee program. For more information, contact Joe at
* GetHiking! ShortHikes. Mid-week morning hikes aimed at retirees and others interested in exploring short trails near where they live. Fee program. For more information, contact Joe at

About GetHiking! GetHiking! is an element of, a health and fitness blog founded in 2009 by Joe Miller with the support of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. The GetHiking! program is an outgrowth of Joe’s 22

years of writing about active living — including a weekly outdoor column, Take It Outside, that ran for 10 years in  the N&O and four books on the subject — coupled with his experience as a hiking coach for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer’s Ultimate Hike program, in which Joe trains and conditions hikers to hike 28.1 miles in one day.


  1. Maria Davis says:


    My family and I are interested in hiking but have no prior experience. Are there intro classes we could attend or beginner hikes in the Charlotte area to join? Thank you!


    • JoeMiller says:

      Hi Maria,

      Your timing is ideal. On Thursday, Jan. 16, we're launching our GetHiking! Charlotte program. The program is aimed at established hikers looking to expand their knowledge of local trails, and to beginners such as yourself. Our hikes are lead from the rear, so the slower, less-experienced hikers have access to the hike leader, who can answer your questions and share insights about hiking. You can learn more about GetHiking! Charlotte here. Check back with us tomorrow and we'll have more information on the program.

      Hope to see you and your family on the trail!



Leave a Comment