Tag Archives: beginner

Accelerate your hiking this spring

We’re ready for spring, so we can get outside even more often. We bet you’re ready, too. 

What say we get together and do a little exploring? Here are some of the adventures we have planned for spring.

Winter Wild Off-Trail Adventures

This series of off-trail adventures started in winter but it’s trickling over into spring — in part, because weather caused a postponement or two. It’s also because we’ve had such a blast on these hikes — a portion of which are on official trail, most of which aren’t — that we decided to extend the program through March. Still to come: read more

Don’t be SAD. Take a hike!

Feeling SAD lately?

You know, Seasonal Affective Disorder—a depression that can set in when the days are short and the sun sets too early in the day. Once this mood-altering disorder takes hold, it can be hard to shake; it’s best to fight it off before it has a chance to make itself at home, leaving you hibernating uncomfortably.

One way to combat SAD, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to go outside and move—the more regularly, the better. Even when it’s cold, a brisk walk in outdoor light can help. Another way to lift your mood is to be with other people; socializing with a dose of laughter helps you connect with others. And regular hiking can reduce levels of stress, which can contribute to SAD symptoms.

Frankly, all of us could stand to reduce stress levels. So, even if SAD doesn’t get you down, brisk movement and being with others is a great way to keep stress at bay by releasing endorphins and elevating your mood.

As always, we are here to help.

We have several winter programs designed to get you out and moving with a group of supportive fellow hikers. For new hikers who need an especially nurturing environment, we have our Beginning Hiker Series. For more established hikers who want to stay in the habit of hiking during winter, we have our Experienced Hiker series. Both of these programs meet every Sunday afternoon for eight weeks.

For a fresh change of scenery, which can shake things up in a good way, we have a monthly Piedmont Explorer series, which will take you along trails that you may be familiar with and haven’t explored, or perhaps didn’t even know existed.

In addition, we post regular hikes thought our seven GetHiking! chapters.

Meanwhile, here at GetGoingNC HQ, we’re sprucing up some programs for sunnier days ahead. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

Happy trails,

Joe

* * *

Click on the following for more info:

Hike with us in 2018

We want to hike with you in 2018. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hiking since the days of leather boots and lederhosen. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a hiking trail from a paper trail. We want to hike with you, and odds are we have a program that will meet your needs as you enter the new year.

Today, we start with three hiking programs to start off the new year. Next week, we’ll tell you about our backpacking programs and weekend camping escapes.

=&0=&

If you’re looking for a way to be more active in 2018, hiking is an excellent way to do it. Think about your past New Year’s resolutions for exercise: most probably involved a gym and a determination to work out at least three times a week. Think about how long that effort lasted (did it make it through January?)

One problem with gym resolutions is the “work” part of the word “workout.” It just plain feels like work, something you may not be all that inclined to do.

Hiking is different. We like to focus on play. Heading up a steep hill or tackling a long trail may work up a sweat and make your muscles ache; you may be a little stiff the next day. But rare is the hiker who describes hiking to a mountaintop view or descending to a waterfall overlook as “work.”

Hiking is less about work and more about developing an active lifestyle that you can continue late into life. It’s good exercise and great stress relief. It’s movement that begets movement: you hike three miles in the Piedmont, and before long you want to hike 6 miles in the mountains. And, as a bonus, with your amped-up energy, you’ll find yourself doing those everyday goals you vowed to do — take the stairs, park at the far corner of the lot.

Ready to work play into your fitness routine? Here’s how our Beginner program works: We’ll meet Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. for eight weeks beginning Jan. 7 to hike 2-4 miles at different locations around the Triangle. Especially important to beginners: a key feature of the GetHiking! program: our hikes are led from the rear, so you’ll never be left behind. It’s as beginner-friendly a way to get into hiking as you’ll find. Learn more and sign up here.

=&1=&

These hikes are designed for hikers who need incentive to keep hiking through the winter. Our Experienced Hiker program keeps hikers on the trail during the sometimes challenging months of January and February. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be in shape to tackle those mountain hikes you love so much.

How our Experienced Hiker program works: We’ll meet Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. for eight weeks beginning Jan. 7. We’ll hike at various locations around the Triangle, on trails you may not know. We’ll start with a 4.2-miler to shake out the holiday cobwebs and end with a 9.7-mile hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail guaranteed to have you in mid-season form; most of the hikes in between are around 6 miles. Learn more and sign up here.

=&2=&

Designed for hikers with a bit of experience, this series will explore options beyond the Triangle that can be done comfortably in a day. Each of the six monthly hikes, on trails that are 5-6 miles long, are in areas within an hour and a half drive of the Triangle, including Medoc Mountain State Park, Raven Rock State Park, and Little River Regional Park. Explore these diverse Piedmont trails and expand your hiking resume.

Learn more and sign up here.

Next week: backpacking programs and weekend escapes.

Happy trails,

Joe

This weekend: Test the waters

Grandfather Mountain

Sample a triathlon in Cary or sample hiking on Grandfather Mountain. Or, at the coast you can workout for a cookout. Good options all for the last weekend before Labor Day weekend.

Coast

Always a smart move, scheduling a cookout with a workout, which is the gist of Saturday’s Rise and Grind Workout and Cookout Saturday morning at Hugh MacRae Park in Wilmington.

Sponsored by Cape Fear Boxing, a local non-profit that offers fitness and other programs for at-risk youth and troubled teens, there will be a pair of workouts in the morning followed by a cookout. Live music and a raffle, too. Sounds like a good way to celebrate the last weekend before Labor Day, viewed by many as the official end of summer.

Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 23, with workouts at 9 and 10:30 a.m., cookout to follow. $15. More info here or by contacting Rasheed Diaab at 910.200.0870 or capefearboxing@gmail.org.

Saturday forecast: High of 83, chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

Piedmont

As you run down your to-do list for the summer, there’s a glaring omission: you didn’t do your first triathlon.

Yet.

Sunday, you can cross try-a-tri off your list with the ingenious Plunge Pedal & Plod at the Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary. This 17-year-old event is made for the person, adult or kid, who wants to sample a triathlon without investing a lot of time and energy. Try it and like it? Let that chapter of your life begin. Not so much fun? At least you tried.

The PP&P comes in four sizes, ranging from 50-yard pool swim, 4K bike ride and 1.6K run, to an 400 meter swim, 12K bike ride and 3K run. This is a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event.

Logistics: Sunday, Aug. 24, 7 a.m. (course closes at 10 a.m.). $70, non-USA Triathlon members must buy a one day membership ($10 for 17 and under, $18 otherwise). More info here.

Sunday forecast: Morning high in the low 70s, overcast.

Mountains

Saturday at Grandfather Mountain State Park it’s the Three Bears of hiking. Four Bears, actually.

The Chargers and ReChargers Hiking Club of Boone is conducting hikes for various ability levels. A newcomer to hiking? Check out the Easy 2.0-mile roundtrip from the Profile Trail trailhead: a lovely wander through a mature hardwood forest. Up for a little more? The Moderate 3.5-mile round trip tops out at Foscoe View and gains a total of 500 vertical feet. If you’re willing to venture into Strenuous territory there’s the 5.5-mile trip to Shanty Springs (1,600 feet), while the Very Strenuous hike gains a total of 2,046 feet over seven miles as it tops out at Calloway Peak.

Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 23, four hikes, all starting at 8:30 a.m. The hikes are free, but preregistration is required, by Friday, by calling the park office at 828.963.9522. Learn more about the park here.

Saturday forecast: High of 79, cloudy, chance of rain.

* * *

Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority read more

This weekend: A smorgasbord of outdoor fun

Try your hand at canoeing at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, walk or run or bike to support a state park in Raleigh, or learn to ride a bike in the mountains.

Coast

We’re always on the lookout for a good, economical paddle adventure; this weekend our looking out has landed us at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park south of Goldsboro, where a ranger will lead an Introduction to Canoeing class on Sunday. The course includes boat, lifejacket, paddles and instruction, and will be conducted on the friendly waters of the park’s 11-acre, spring-fed lake. An especially great opportunity if you’ve never been in a canoe, but have given it some thought.

Logistics: Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m. Free and all equipment is provided, but space is limited and preregistration required, by calling 919.778.6234.

Saturday forecast: Sunny with a high of 68.

Piedmont

This Saturday you can walk for Umstead, you can run for Umstead and you can bike for Umstead. Yes, all three modes of transportation are supported at the 2013 Walk/Run/Bike for Umstead, an annual fundraiser for the popular state park sponsored by the Umstead Coalition. The Triangle Off Road Cyclists will lead a guided bike tour of the park, the Carolina Godiva Track Club sponsors a race and there’s a guided walk, all to benefit Umstead.

Logistics: Saturday, April 20, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 6000 Reedy Creek Road. $40 for adults, $20 for kids 12 and under, $35 for the 65-and-up crowd. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Cloudy with rain possible early, partly cloudy in the afternoon. High of 63.

Mountains

When we think of cycling in the mountains we think of the plethora of road and mountain bike rides that test the very best, which makes us think everyone in the high country is an accomplished cyclist capable of climbing the steepest hills and jamming down the steepest descents. But does everyone in the mountains ride at that level?

No, says the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club. In fact, some folks haven’t ridden in quite a while. They’re the ones who are the focus of the club’s Saturday, beginner biker series. Each week the series tackles a new aspect of cycling. This Saturday, for instance, “…you’ll practice your shifting, braking, and signaling skills. Then comes 15 to 20 mile ride along the greenways and quiet country roads of Brevard.” Sounds like something even a more experienced cyclists might want to tap into.

Logistics: Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m. Meet at Oskar Blues Brewery. More about the program here.

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 64.

* * *

Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

NCCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).

Mountains

Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times read more