In October, we suggested that winter was a good time for taking long hikes at the coast. Fewer biting things flitting through the air, fewer slithering things making their way across the ground. Today, as we’re in the throes of a sustained cold weather hiking season, we return to the coast with suggestions for shorter walks.
Another hot, summery weekend is on tap, which means you have two choices for outdoor fun: get wet or go high.
Not that you need a reason to visit the Great Dismal Swamp, but if you did …
Saturday, join a ranger on an intimate Summer Paddle of the Dismal Swamp Canal at Dismal Swamp State Park north of Elizabeth City. Everything you need — boat, paddle, PFD, basic instruction — is provided. That last part — basic instruction — should be even more incentive for those of you who’ve never paddled.
Planning for the weekend is good. Foremost, it gives you something to pull you through those long mid-week meetings at the Widgetworks.
Sometimes, though, you can only have a rough plan. When the forecast calls for anywhere from 3 to 6 to 8 to 12 inches of snow. Or maybe rain. Or maybe something in between. In such cases, the best you can do is prepare for the somewhat more likely possibilities.
With the weather in mind, we don’t give you specific ideas of what to do and where to go this week. Rather, we throw out some options and a thought or two on how you can prepare, and let you go from there.
At our weekly GetHiking! Triangle hike a couple weeks back, I was approached at the trailhead by a woman who introduced herself as being from Virginia Beach, Va. She, her daughter and a friend were in town asked if they might tag along with our group.
Paddle a swamp, paddle someone else’s boat, paddle a dragon.
There’s great cache in being able to say you paddled the Great Dismal Swamp. After all, people have gone into the massive wetland in the northeast corner of the state (and southeast Virginia) and never come out. On Saturday’s Kayaking the Canal paddle at Dismal Swamp State Park you can earn both Dismal bragging rights and, since it’s ranger-led and on a canal, be assured that you will emerge unscathed (save, perhaps, a mosquito bite or two if you don’t later up beforehand).