Hiking is a gateway activity. You start with a hike along Umstead’s Sycamore Creek after a rain, maybe hike the Little Mountain Falls Trail at Virginia’s Fairy Stone State Park on a cloudless winter day. Before you know it, the notion of spending a day or more on the trail has a keen appeal. You’re hooked by the lure of outdoor escapes.
Just in time for autumn’s splendor, we’ve got three great ideas for both active and aspiring backpackers.
Fall in North Carolina is the time to go backpacking. Daytime highs gradually dip and overnight lows are perfect for snugging into a down bag and getting a long night’s rest. From Shining Rock to the Smokies, the AT to the MST, the woods beckon for an extended stay. The glorious yellows, reds and oranges of leaves changing color is but one sign of the natural world slowing down for winter; you can experience also the stillness and the dwindling yet increasingly brilliant sunlight knifing through the woods.
So, you’ve been enjoying your walks in the woods and maybe you’re wondering what it might be like to stay a bit longer—overnight, even.
We can help you.
Ever since I wrote Backpacking North Carolina in 2011, I’ve been on a mission to dispel the myths of backpacking. Like the idea that you have to sleep on the cold, hard ground, eat beans out of a can, and hike 20 miles a day with 60-pound pack on your back.
Over the past two and a half years, we’ve graduated more than 120 backpackers through our GetBackpacking! program. They come in with little or no experience, after three training sessions and a weekend graduation trip to South Mountains State Park, they emerge competent backpackers.
Ever thought about backpacking?
These five happy guys did, so they enrolled in our GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking program. After three training hikes, they graduated two weekends ago, with a two-night trip to South Mountains State Park.
Check out their graduation weekend below.