Tag Archives: hikes

Up for a Midweek Escape? Take Our Survey

The times they are a changin’. And that change is affecting when we get out and play. Two factors in particular affect the when-we-play factor in North Carolina:

  • North Carolina ranks 9th nationally in number of telecommuting jobs, a position bolstered largely by the state’s high-tech industry, which is more likely to let employees work from home. (Jobs that are most likely to support telecommuting — software programming, information security, data analyst, technical writer — are common here, especially in the Triangle.) Further, the trend is growing: the number of regular telecommuting employees nationwide has increased by 115 percent since 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Between 2000 and 2010, the Raleigh-Cary area had the fastest growing retiree population in the country; the state’s Division of Aging and Adult Services says the senior population in Wake County alone will increase by 163 percent over the next two decades.

Telecommuters with more flexible work schedules and retirees whose time is likewise more malleable means that these two sizable demographics aren’t relegated to just getting out on weekends. Add in a sizable service industry with varied working hours that can leave time off during the day, and we’ve got a seemingly sizable number of candidates for midweek escapes. read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

This week’s video is a salute to exploring in the rain, which is our way of saying there’s a lot of it in the forecast the next few days.

But not on Saturday! So, we have three options today: 1) if you want to stay dry, 2) if you don’t mind the rain, 3) if you’d rather wait until New Year’s Day (when there’s still a chance of rain).

  • Small Steps, Saturday, 10 a.m., Eno River State Park, Durham. This is the no-rain option (in the words of the Eno River State Park poet laureate): If your 2019 goal is a fitter you, begin your journey with a river view. read more

Happy Holidays! (And where to enjoy them!)

We take a slightly different tack this week. We know a lot of you have time off and might be looking for an outdoor adventure or two from your out-of-town guests. Or an adventure just for you.

Here are some resources that will hopefully help you find the adventure you want:

=&0=&. Looking for a place to hike near home? Here are our recommendations for:

=&1=&. Find out what your local GetHiking! chapter (as well as GetExploring! Greenville)  is up to over the holidays starting here.

=&2=&. If you’re willing to commit and day (including driving), check out these worthy options:

Five Great Hikes at the Coast and Coastal Plains. Heading to the beach for the holidays? Work in

one of these hikes read more

From Beginner to Backcountry expert, Hike NC returns with 60 Spring Hikes

Hike NC, the hiking program launched in the fall of 2016 by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, is back with 60 hikes this spring. This weekend, Earth Day weekend, the spring season kicks off with seven hikes. While many of those hikes are aimed at beginners — the goal of the program is to get more people moving and outdoors — there are several good reasons for more experienced hikers to check out those hikes as well.

=&0=&. One in particular caught our eye: Saturday’s hike on the Sand Live Oak Trail at coastal Carolina Beach State Park. “It is our newest trail,” says park ranger Carla Edwards, who will lead the hike. This trail takes you deeper into the park’s community of ancient live oaks, sprawling evergreen trees that seem to extend forever. You’ll encounter a variety of other coastal plant communities as well, including the park’s rare carnivorous plant gatherings. 3.5 miles.

=&1=&. Again this weekend, that includes Sunday’s 3-mile hike on the Bee Tree Trail at Pettigrew State Park.  One of the state’s off-the-beaten-path gems, Pettigrew State Park is located south of Creswell, which is east of Plymouth, which — it’s on the way to the Outer Banks, off U.S. 64. Here, you’ll discover a rim of the massive old growth hardwoods that shielded Lake Phelps—at 16,000 acres the state’s second largest natural lake—from the prying eyes of early Europeans for years. You’ll find some of the oldest trees in the state here.

=&2=&. You may hike a lot, but how well do you know the terrain through which you’ve hiked? Several Hike NC hikes have an educational component: On Saturday’s Wildflower Hike at South Mountains State Park, Ranger Lance Huss will lead a 3/4-mile hike along the Jacob Fork River, identifying the many wildflowers now in bloom. And if you want to hike a little farther afterward, you can hike the 2.7-mile High Shoals Falls Loop and check out its 80-foot namesake waterfall. 

=&3=&. Again this weekend, on Sunday afternoon: a 4-mile hike on the Lake and Laurel Hills trails in Gaston County’s George Poston Park. One of the key partners in Hike NC is the N.C. Recreation and Parks Association, which represents the state’s various parks and rec departments. These NCRPA members have played a huge role in sponsoring hikes and getting more folks moving by showing off some of the great trails they have that you may not know about. “After doing Hike NC with you guys last year,” says Gaston County’s Josh Henderson, “we decided to implement our own hikes … because they have been highly attended.”

=&4=&. Are you in the habit of going to the same park and hiking the same trail? At Pilot Mountain State Park, for instance, folks drive lemming-like to the summit and hike the Ledge Spring Trail and other trails from the summit parking lot — even though on a brilliant spring weekend it can take a half hour just to find a parking spot. Well, your friends here at GetGoingNC and GetHiking! — did we mention that we are partners in Hike NC as well? — like the popular places, too, but we seek out the backdoor entrances. Saturday, we show you one of our favorite lesser-known entrances to Pilot Mountain. Where? You’ll have to visit the Hike NC website (details in a minute) to find out.

=&5=&. On May 5, our friends with the Buncombe County Parks and Rec. will lead a 6-mile hike on the Snowball Trail, high in the Craggy Mountains; on June 9, the same hike leaders will hike Sleepy Gap from the Walnut Cove Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway; and on May 6, we’re leading our favorite epic circuit in the Southeast: the 17.5-mile Doughton Park loop consisting of Cedar Ridge, Bluff Mountain and Grassy Gap Road trails. We’ll be adding some more challenging hikes over the next couple weeks.

We love being a part of Hike NC, for all the above reasons. If you love hiking, you should love Hike NC, too. 

Learn more about the program at gohikenc.com. To find hikes this weekend and to register (it’s free; they just like to know how many to expect), click on the links below:

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.,

Carolina Beach State Park read more

Escape with us into the Outdoors in 2018

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.

We’re here to help you realize that vision. We’ve been working on ways to help you spend more time outdoors in a variety of ways. Last week we talked about some of the more straightforward hiking programs we have planned for the new year (for those of you newish to the trail). Today, we look at two programs that let you spend the day and night on your adventure. And in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be unveiling even more programs.


Maybe you once thought that backpacking is only for the hardcore. And maybe you’re not feeling so hardcore. But backpacking can fit into your life, no matter what your age or current fitness level. We can help you get started or keep going on the trail.

  • Intro to Backpacking: Folks who have never backpacked or haven’t in a while—say, since the days of the external frame canvas pack—are advised to start with our Intro to Backpacking class: three training sessions, followed by a weekend graduation trip to the mountains. Each training session focuses on a key element of backpacking: gear and proper packing; setting up and breaking down camp; food and its preparation. By the end of the course, you’ll be a confident backpacker.
  • Intermediate Skills courses: Maybe you’ve done some backpacking but would like to be more confident in the backcountry. We have a series of Intermediate Skills courses that will build your skills in the areas of wilderness navigation, river crossings, solo backpacking, hiking and camp set-up at night, and winter backpacking.
  • Trips: In 2018, we plan to do a trip a month. Some will be three-day weekend excursions, some will be longer. Most are great opportunities for both beginners, who can to hike with and learn from more experienced backpackers, and more seasoned backpackers, who can not only mentor newbies but also discover new places.
  • read more