Saturday, our Gethiking! Triangle crew will hike a 5-mile stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail north of Durham. Known as Day-Hike Section S, it’s one of our favorite stretches of the MST through the Triangle because of its ecological diversity: it spends time skirting edge forest, it sidles up to Falls Lake and a large farm pond, it passes through emerging hardwood forest and mature bottomland woods, it takes advantage of long abandoned farm roads.
We love the idea of exploring the wild places out there. But actually doing it can be daunting.
The wildest place we know of in the Southeast is Linville Gorge. Most of the 11,651 acres is wilderness. The gorge is just three-quarters of a mile across, from rim to rim, and is as deep as 1,500 feet in spots. On its 13-mile run through the gorge, the Linville River drops 2,000 vertical feet. So inaccessible is much of the gorge that it contains virgin timber, a rarity in this part of the world. Trail descriptions are peppered with such phrases as “very strenuous,” “very primitive,” and “notoriously steep.” There is no “easy” in Linville Gorge.
We’re all wondering the same thing: are my favorite places to explore open post Hurricane Florence?
Here’s a look at what I’ve found for our upcoming GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! adventures. Hopefully, my sleuthing can help you in figuring out your own upcoming adventure plans.
Goodbye summer, hello fall. And the start of the fall hiking season.
Labor Day is the ceremonial opening for fall (even though summer doesn’t actually hand over the keys until Sept. 22). It marks things that signify the end of summer: pools close, schools are just underway, football gets into full swing, and we’re done with summer vacationing.
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.