As you contemplate your plans to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, contemplate this: what would be the most appropriate way to celebrate your independence, that sense of truly expressing your freedom?
With a hike, of course.
In honor of Independence Day, we’ve come up with 11 hikes that capture — in name at least — the spirit of the day. Find one near you and enjoy. (For additional information, check the links at the end of the list.)read more
Since this is a special weekend, extending to Wednesday for many of you, we’re throwing the 4th into the mix — and one of the best displays of brightness lighting up the sky that you’re likely to see: the Cosmos & Cocoa display on Bald Head Island.read more
Sometimes we listen to the tales of others for inspiration, sometimes for same flat-out vicarious living.
Thursday evening, you’ll get both at Peak Panel: a Night of Stories at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Raleigh’s Cameron Village. Four North Carolina climbers will share their individual stories of conquering four of the world’s most captivating peaks: Everest, Denali, Rainier and Patagonia.read more
Answer the following: The weather forecast for this weekend is:
If you answered a), then you’ve already resigned yourself to spending the weekend indoors. Here’s a list of good books.
If you answered b), stick with us as we depart from our usual format, which is to recommend planned outdoor activities scheduled for the weekend. Organized bike rides, hikes, runs, that kind of thing. Odds are that anything scheduled throughout much of the state will be canceled should the forecast illustrated above (thanks WRAL Weather, btw) come true. No sense recommending something that likely won’t happen. Instead, some thoughts on how you, as an individual, can take advantage of the snowy cold weekend.read more
Some of us don’t mind hiking in the heat. Switch to cotton, freeze your water bottle overnight, use your trekking poles as spider web vanquishers … . Sure, you work up a nice glow. But you’re on the trail, and really, it’s not unbearable.
We recognize, though, that not everyone is inclined to keep on hikin’ after Memorial Day. We also recognize that as August approaches, the aforementioned cool-weather hikers are starting to undergo withdrawal. You get out your phone and stare longingly at those photos from the beginning of the year, when you were bundled in fleece. Ah, the good cold days.
We can’t magically make it cold. But we can direct you to some hikes where it feels less like summer. In some cases, a lot less. As a rough rule of thumb, the temperature drops about 3.5 degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation. So if it’s 90 in Raleigh (elevation 315 feet), it’s in the upper 60s atop Mount Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet).
Lesson one: hike higher, hike cooler.
Lesson two: you needn’t go as high, provided you’re hiking near cool waters. Waterfalls, pools on mountain creeks, that sort of thing.
With those two guiding points in mind, we offer 10 high country spots where fair weather hikers can stretch their legs without working up a flop sweat.
You might even want to take along a fleece.
Learn more about those hikes, here. Or, consult the entries listed in either “Backpacking North Carolina” or “100 Classsic Hikes in North Carolina.”read more