Tag Archives: Carver’s Gap

5 of our favorite Whoa! Moments

On Saturday’s final hike of our 2018-2019 Winter Wild hike series, we decided to add an extra mile or so. It was a mile of trail I hadn’t hiked.

As we made our way up the north bank of New Hope Creek, I could hear the gradient increasing upstream, the sound of water cascading over rock a bit more intense than we’re used to hearing in the Piedmont. As the noise grew, some mild scrambling was required; we shinnied up a rock outcrop overlooking the creek and emerged on a slab 30 feet above the water. read more

Spring opens a world of backpack opportunities

Spring is one of our four favorite seasons to backpack because:

  • Temperatures are moving up — no worrying about whether your 20-degree bag will cut it on a 19-degree night
  • Daylight is increasing — no 14-hour nights in your sleeping bag
  • The world is coming to life — no explanation needed

Thus, it’s no surprise that spring is one of our busiest times on the trail. Here’s what we’ve got going on into June. For more information and to sign up, see the links below.

Learn to backpack

We have two options for folks who aren’t backpackers — but want to be. read more

With backpacking, there’s no reason to leave the trail

Fall is our favorite time of year to go backpacking: temperatures are cooling, the forest is alit in color, the air is dry, the chance of rain is greatly diminished. It’s a great time to be on the trail — and to stay on the trail.

That’s one of the many joys of backpacking: once you’re on the trail, you don’t have to leave. Stay a night, or two or three.

If you’re already a backpacker, we’ve got some great trips planned for fall. Some are ideal for folks new to backpacking (Intro to Linville Gorge, the Neusiok Trail), some are for more experienced backpackers (Joyce Kilmer/Citico Creek Wilderness). Then there’s the Appalachian Trail trip from Carvers Gap to 19E, a trip that should be on every backpacker’s resume.

If you’re not a backpacker, there’s no better time to start, and no better people to start with than us. If you’re intrigued by the notion of backpacking but need to dip a toe in before committing, we have our new Overnight Sampler. If you’re pretty sure backpacking is for you, check out our comprehensive Intro to Backpacking class.

Either way, fall’s the time to backpack. We hope to see you on the trail. For additional information on each event, click on the link below.

=&0=&, September session. Our comprehensive learn-to-backpack program includes a two-hour session on gear and how to pack a backpack; a six-hour session at Morrow Mountain State Park where be go over everything from setting up camp to cooking to hanging food, to breaking down camp; and, finally, a weekend graduation trip to South Mountains State Park.

=&1=&, Sept. 15-16, Eno River State Park, Durham; Oct. 20-21, Raven Rock State Park, Lillington. You like the idea of backpacking, but you aren’t ready to make a full-on commitment — you’d like to take a test-drive first. That’s what our Overnight Sampler is all about: we provide the key backpacking gear and food, you get to see what it’s like to hike in a full pack and camp in the backcountry overnight.

=&2=&, Burnsville. Sept. 21-23. A two-night, three-day 14-mile trip that may be the most scenically spectacular run of trail in North Carolina. We start at Carvers Gap and top Jane and Round balds right off the bat, meander through forests of mountain ash, then encounter more stunning views from atop Little Hump and Hump mountains.

=&3=&, northwest of Morganton, Oct. 5-7. Linville Gorge can provide a rewarding (and intense) immersion into backpacking. But on this trip, we’ll take a more relaxed approach, setting up basecamp on Shortoff Mountain, then day packing into the gorge.

=&4=&, Oct. 25-29, adjoining wilderness areas in North Carolina and Tennessee near Robbinsville. Its remote location and ruggedness helped spare this area from extensive logging, making it an easy choice for Wilderness designation. Participants will play a role in the actual planning of this trip, at a two-hour planning meeting a week before the trip.  

=&5=&, Croatan National Forest, New Bern, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Late fall is the time to hike the coastal Croatan National Forest. Pesky flying things and slithering denizens of the dirt are kept at bay by the cool weather, and the fall color continues to linger along this 21-mile trail that starts all coastal but delivers some surprising twists at the end. 

Happy trails,

Joe

More info

Class: Intro to Backpacking

Class: GetBackpacking! Overnight Sampler (September)

Class:

GetBackpacking! Overnight Sampler read more

90 Second Escape: GetBackpacking! on the AT

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 fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: GetBackpacking! on the AT

Content from GetBackpacking! on the AT: Carvers Gap to 19E

As a rule, you hope for blue bird days on a hike. But you especially hope for them on a hike known for its views.

This past Labor Day weekend, our GetBackpacking! crew headed to a stretch of the Appalachian Trail known for its abundance of views, the 13.7 miles from Carvers Gap north to US 19E. The forecast called for a good chance of thunderstorms, and while there was rain on neighboring peaks, it left our group alone. And when the wind picked up Saturday afternoon, it cleared the skies of any chance of rain.

Here’s a peek at what you hope happens when the weather cooperates on the trail. (FYI, we’ll be repeating this trip as a day hike with our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes group on Sept. 20. More info here.)

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This weekend: New trail, high trail or hightail it to Wilmington

Eno Quarry (photo courtesy Chris Underhill)

New trail opens along the Eno River, there’s a hike on some of the state’s highest trail and there’s a run on battleships at the coast.

Piedmont

We don’t normally recommend ribbon cuttings, but when that ribbon cutting is part of a chance to hike 1.5 miles of virgin Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which connects with another 8 miles of what might be the sweetest hiking on the Eno River — coupled with what’s forecast to be a lovely fall weekend — well, we’ll make an exception.

Chris Underhill, one of our moles in the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, tells us that the 1.5-mile link has been made between the Cabe Lands section of Eno River State Park and the Pleasant Green Access upstream. Says Chris, “ … the new trail has more of what you love on the Cabe Lands to Pump Station section: surprisingly steep and rugged terrain, quick uphills alternating with a couple of lowland pieces along the river, abundant mountain laurel and even some rhododendron.” And, “For connoisseurs of trail engineering, there’s also some really fine  rock work and dirt fills to smooth out several ugly little dips along the way.”

Great hiking and trail engineering? Who can resist? The ceremony is Saturday at 9 a.m. (followed by a trail workday, if you’d like to stick around and expand the trail farther). Go here for more on hiking in the area and for a map of how to get to the Cabe Lands Access.

Mountains

Saturday, the Chargers & Rechargers Hiking Club is doing one of my favorite hikes: Carver’s Gap to Grassy Ridge. This six-mile hike will top three balds — Round, Jane, Grassy — and offers some of the best views in the state. And, the first weekend of November there’s always a chance for wintry weather on this hike that tops out above 6,000 feet. 
More info: Bill Barksdale, 828.898.6977 or wbarksdale@cfl.rr.com.

Coast

I love a race with a hook — like starting and finishing at a battleship. If you’re of similar bent, then hightail it to Wilmington for Sunday’s Battleship North Carolina Half Marathon and Port Land Grille Battleship 5K. Reports the event’s website: “The course crosses two bridges over the Cape Fear River, goes through historic downtown Wilmington, tours beautiful Greenfield Lake, and returns to the Battleship via the Memorial Bridge.” Entrants in both races get a free ticket to tour the battleship.

$67 to race in the half marathon, $35 for the 5K. Register for both here.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, 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 read more