A little confession: this week’s video isn’t from this past week. It’s from a year ago, almost to the day. We share it again because it reflects the weather pattern from a year ago: rain during the week, then three days of sunshine and cold overnight temps. The perfect formula for letting loose the kind of color we hope to find in the woods on a fall weekend. The kind of color we expect you’ll find on this fall weekend. That said, some thoughts on how to best enjoy color on the weekend ahead …
We have a season-appropriate forecast for the weekend: partly sunny with temperatures in the upper 50s! Perfect for getting out and exploring. Perfect for:
Spring Hike, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Seven Springs, Saturday, 1 p.m. Spring comes even sooner on the coastal plain, so expect an extra-special treat on this 1-mile hike through a longleaf pine forest. The trail is flat, suitable for a range of hiking abilities. Learn more and sign up here.
People sometimes shy away from hiking thinking it’s all work and no play. To those we have two words:
Holiday Hiker is both a series of hikes we’re doing in December and an overriding philosophy here at GetHiking!
Last week we told you about our Holiday Hiker series, so we won’t dwell. (But if you missed it, we’ve launched a series of short — 4 miles, give or take — hikes geared to keep you moving through the oft-stressful holiday season. Learn more about that series here.)
Get Here Early!
Gates open at 5 a.m.!
Stay All Day!
Food trucks! Vendors! Live streaming!
Don’t you dare miss it … !
In fact, it’s the poster promoting Total Solar Eclipse 2017 at Gorges State Park, part of the normally staid North Carolina State Park system.
North Carolina, and the mountains in particular, are burning up with eclipse fever. For you, that translates to lots of events where you can share the experience with others, maybe hear some live music, sample the fare from a food truck or two, score a pair of those hard-to-get eclipse-watching glasses.
Among the offerings:
=&1=&, 1 minute and 47 seconds of total darkness. Eclipse central will be Bridge Park, where, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., you’ll find food trucks, educational tents, kids activities and a planetary walk. More info here.
=&2=&=&3=&(pronounced “Cashers,” fyi), 2 minutes and 23 seconds. Food trucks, live music and fun, sure, but there will also be solar eclipse experts with special viewing equipment. Go to the local post office and get your special solar eclipse thermal stamp canceled. Festivities run from noon to 4 p.m. More info here.
=&4=&, anywhere from 20 seconds (Looking Glass Overlook, Milepost 417) to 44 seconds (Waterrock Knob, Milepost 469). Parkway officials will be allowing roadside parking (provided you are entirely off the road) for this stretch of the southern parkway west of the Pisgah Inn; still, expect a zoo as moonstruck motorists vie for prime viewing spots. Check out RomanticAsheville.com‘s Blue Ridge Parkway Guide for overlooks and other stops along this section.
=&5=&, Sapphire, about 2 1/2 minutes. Yes, the gates really do open at 5 a.m. (the park typically opens at 8 a.m.), meaning you might want to camp outside the gate to score the best viewing spots and to enjoy the pre-eclipse entertainment, including music by Tina Eno, the Blue Ridge Bakery Boys, Quarter House Band, and the Singing Vegetables puppets. More info here.
=&6=&Burnsville, 98.43 percent totality. View near totality from the highest point on the East Coast. Featured event: How an Eclipse Happens. Events from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Upper Summit Parking Lot. More info here.
=&8=&, Raleigh, 93 percent. Warning: Did you know it can be harmful to view the eclipse without special eclipse glasses? Be among the first 100 to register for the eclipse event at Umstead State Park and the Friends of State Parks will make sure your eyeballs are eclipse-proof. Also on hand: a Dobsonian Telescope with solar filter to view the sun before the total eclipse. Noon to 4 p.m. More info and pre-register here.
=&9=&=&10=&Roaring Gap, partial eclipse. Gather at 1 p.m. for a 30-minute talk about the eclipse, then hang out in the field between campsites 33 and 34 in the A Loop Campground to watch the action. More info https://www.ncparks.gov/stone-mountain-state-park/events-and-programs/solar-eclipse
=&11=&, 93 percent “Obscuration,” Greensboro. This event focuses on the peak of the event, from 2-3 p.m., with park staff assisting viewers in the open field near the parking area. Free safe viewing glasses provided to the first 70 participants. More info here.
=&12=&=&10=&Lillington, 94 percent. Come to the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. where eclipse educational stations will be set up; then, take your camp chair out front to the grassy field and watch. More info here.
=&15=&, Bahama, 93 percent. Our GetHiking! group hosts an event for those late to the eclipse party. Bring a lawn chair. More info and sign up here.
We love trails. You love trails.
Saturday, we show that love during the annual National Trails Day observation. Launched by the American Hiking Society in the early 1990s, NTD is the one day of the year where express our love of hiking trails, paddle trails, singletrack mountain bike trail, doublewide equestrian trail … if it’s a trail, it’s covered under the NTD rainbow.
Dozens of National Trails Day events are planned in North Carolina for Saturday. We’ve compiled a list of 37 events; we provide the basics and a link or phone number where you can score specifics.
We’ll rerun a more complete list a week from today, on Thursday, June 5. In the meantime, leave Saturday, June 7 open. You have a date with a trail.
Asheville: Mountains-to-Sea Trail Workday, Soco Gap area on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Carolina Mountain Club. 8:30 a.m. (carpool from Asheville). More info at 828.230.1861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boone: Hike, Boone United Methodist Church, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Details.
Boone: The Summit: A Dynamic Hiking and Backpacking Conference for Women, Trail Dames, 3 p.m.-midnight. Details.
Burnesville: Hike, Mount Mitchell State Park. 1 p.m. 828.675.4611. Details.
Chimney Rock: Guided hikes, Chimney Rock State Park, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Details.
Deep Gap: KAMPN Kleenup & Kookout, Camp Cogger, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Details.
Franklin: Wilderness hike, southern Nantahala Wilderness Area, Nantahala Hiking Club 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Details.
Gerton: Workday on Bearwallow Mountain, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, noon-3 p.m. Details.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Appalachian Trail Workday, Friends of the Smokies, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. More info: 865.932.4794, 800.845.5665 or hollys@Friendsofthesmokies.org.
Laurel Springs: Workday, New River State Park. 1 p.m. 336.982.2587. Details.
West Jefferson: Wildflower hike, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, 2-3:45 p.m. Details.
Spruce Pine: Overmountain Victory Trail/Hefner Gap “Freedom Hike”, Overmountain Victory Trail Association, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Details.
Todd: Workday, Elk Knob State Park, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Details.
Cary: Workday, Hemlock Bluffs Natural Area, Town of Cary, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Details.
Chapel Hill: Morgan Creek Trail Phase 2 Grand Opening, Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation, 10 a.m.-noon. Details.
Durham: Hike to Fish: Beginning Fishing with a Park Ranger, Eno River State Park, 10-11:30 a.m. Details.
Durham: Workday, Eno River State Park, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Details.
Morrisville: Triangle Fat Tire Festival, Lake Crabtree County Park. Saturday and Sunday. More info here.
Raleigh: Volksmarch Habitat Hike, Umstead State Park. 9 a.m. 919.571.4170. Details.
Raleigh: Prairie Ridge Ecostation to William B. Umstead State Park Volksmarch Habitat Hike:, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, noon to 1 p.m. Details.
Triangle area: Falls Lake / Mountains-to-Sea Trail workday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Details.
Wake Forest: Volunteer Appreciation Day, Wake Forest Greenways Advisory Board, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Details.
Browns Summit: Hike, Haw River State Park. 10 a.m. 336.342.6163. Details.
Burlington: Shallow Ford Natural Area Track Trail Grand Opening, Alamance County Recreation and Parks Department, 4-5:15 p.m. Details.
Danbury: Workday, Hanging Rock State Park. Call for time. 336.593.8480. Details.
Greensboro: National Trails Day Festival, Country Park, City of Greensboro, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details.
Haw River: Guided hike, Haw River State Park, 10-11:30 a.m. Details.
Pinnacle: New trail dedication and hike, Pilot Mountain State Park. 9 a.m. 336.325.2355. Details.
Gastonia: Workday, Crowders Mountain State Park, 8-11:30 a.m. Details.
Lake Norman: Workday, Lake Norman State Park, 9 a.m.-noon, Details.
Matthews: Hit the Ground Running Trail Race, Colonel Beatty Park, Go Run Events, llc, 7:30 a.m. Details.
Newton: Trail construction/volunteer workday, Carolina Thread Trail, 9 a.m.-noon. Details.
Elsewhere in the Piedmont
Connelly Springs: Hike, Bike & Ride, South Mountains State Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.