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Shopping for a kayak or canoe? Take a test paddle, first

Years ago, I was in the market for a mountain bike. I went to the old Spin Cycle in Cary, picked out a bike, asked if I could take it for a test ride. Sure, they said. Plenty of residential streets behind the store: knock yourself out. Trouble was, it was a mountain bike; riding it on asphalt wouldn’t give me much of a feel for how it handled rocky,…

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Your weekend: Make it a memorable one

Memorial Day weekend: it may not technically be summer’s meteorological kick off (that comes at 6:34 p.m. on June 20), but it certainly kicks off the season in our psyche. And the weather should be good for kicking if off in any number of adventurous ways, including … Coast We checked the forecast before recommending Saturday’s 2(ish)-mile hike on the Bennetts Creek Trail at Merchants Millpond State Park. It’s getting…

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90 Second Escape: Lake, placid

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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Your weekend: GetHiking! on the MST and Morrow Mountain, explore the Swannanoa Rim

On a weekend that may be wet in spots but will also be cool (and who knows how much longer this will last?), we’re advocating exploring by foot. At the coast, you can truly get away from it all (on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s Coastal Crescent route). In the Piedmont, it may be your last chance for a cool-weather hike. And in the mountains, you have a chance to sample a…

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90 Second Escape: Warm weather?

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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Your Weekend: Walk Wilmington, Paddle the Piedmont, Bike the Blue Ridge

Aren’t crazy about exercise, per se? All you need is the right carrot to get you walking, and Wilmington has three on Saturday. Meanwhile, Mayo River State Park offers a chance to paddle its namesake river and the mountain century season starts to kick in with Tour de Cashiers. Coast: Walking carrots Need a reason to walk (beyond the fact that it’s good for you)? You’ll find three reasons in…

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90 Second Escape: Scenes from a GetHiking! Classic Weekend

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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Your weekend: Ride Wilmington, Hike Pilot, Run for Falafels

A mellow organized ride in Wilmington shuns the hammerhead drama of most such events; if you’re late for Sunday’s hike at Pilot Mountain, no problem — another will come along; and if there was ever a good reason to run a 5K, what could be better than a falafel-bearing t-shirt? Coast The casual cyclist looks at most organized rides and thinks: Looks like fun — if I could ride 64…

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90 Second Escape: Hot Weather, Cool Water Hiking

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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