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More options for a warm, dry springlike weekend

High temperatures in the 60s Saturday, approaching 70 Sunday. Mostly sunny skies. Slight breeze, if any. After the week, and winter, we’ve had, it seems like a dream. More a cruel taunt, really. Yet that’s the forecast for this weekend, a forecast you can ill-afford to question. Why? Because if Saturday morning breaks clear and warm and you don’t have a plan, you will waste precious minutes of rare decent…

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This weekend: Sun, warmth and the return Daylight Saving Time

Waterfalls abound at DuPont State Forest (photo courtesy of VisitNC.com)

Tired of the cold, wet and gray? This weekend promises at least a respite from our wearying winter. Plus, the outdoor adventurer’s old buddy, Daylight Savings Time, returns, gracing us with an extra hour of end-of-day daylight. Get out and take advantage: You never know how long it will last. Coast This may be hard to believe because of our ongoing cold, but the time is rapidly running out for…

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90 Second Escape: Crabtree Falls

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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This weekend: All hail March!

  Let March know you’ve been waiting for it with a big outdoor welcome this weekend. Paddle the month in at the coast, greet it from on high in the Piedmont, or acknowledge its arrival with a classic hike on the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs. Coast In winter, our adventures tend to be on foot. As the weather warms, though, we become more open to other modes of transport….

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Scouting report: long hikes at the coast, in the Piedmont

Mel writes: “I am the Hiking Merit Badge coordinator for Troop 395 in Raleigh and we are looking to put together our hiking itinerary over the next 12 months.  As you may know, to earn this MB the Boy Scouts have to do five 10+ miles hikes and one 20+ mile hike.” Mel goes on to mention that he has my “100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina,” but that most…

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This weekend: Spring from winter

The pending changing of the seasonal guard is evident this weekend. At the coast we have a sweaty 5K that ends with a bracing dip in the brisk Atlantic Ocean; in the Piedmont, the Eno River Association’s weekly Winter Hike Series is drawing to a close; and in the mountains there’s the opportunity to hike in snow — in 50-degree temperatures. Coast Imagine a 5K where a major shock awaits…

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90 Second Escape: Southern Snowy Trails

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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Weekend update: a revised plan

Here’s the weekend dilemma: you want to get out and experience the snow, but will you be able to get there? And once you get there, can you even get in? If your destination is Mount Mitchell State Park, the Shining Rock/Middle Prong wilderness areas, or anywhere else along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the answer to the first question is probably not. The entire Parkway, all 469 miles, is essentially…

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Most N.C. State Parks closed; message delivered

If you’ve got a snow day and were wondering, most of North Carolina’s state parks are closed today. A moot point, since you probably can’t get out of your driveway, let alone off your street. Go to nearly every site for each of the parks. at ncparks.gov and, for the most part, you’ll be greeted by a message such as this one for Umstead State Park: Simple, to the point….

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Iced in? Tuck in with a good read

Before we start, make sure your iPad or preferred electronic reading device is plugged in. When the power goes, you’ll be glad you’ve got a full charge. Go ahead. We’ll wait. According to the weather prognosticators there’s a good chance we won’t be able to venture out for the next couple days, nor will we have power. To me, that translates to the JetBoil with a full canister of fuel,…

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