Technically, it may still be summer (fall starts a week from Friday, on Sept. 22), but the weather suggests the season is well underway. Sunny skies, dry air, temperatures in the 70s and low 80s: weather that beckons with a seductive come-hither finger to come outside and have some fun.
In 2015, we launched our GetHiking! Classic Hikes program with GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes. Over the course of the year we hiked a dozen of North Carolina’s most notable areas: Shining Rock, Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains, Panthertown Valley, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Appalachian Trail, to name a few.
This past weekend, our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes group hit fall perfection on a doubleheader in the Nantahala National Forest of far western North Carolina. Neither day was there a cloud in the sky, neither day did the temperature get much past 60. And if the color wasn’t peak, then it was just approaching — or just descending.
As we enter August, those among us who eschew putting foot to trail in hot weather start getting a little anxious. It was OK back in mid-June; there were other, largely water-based pursuits to keep us occupied: paddling the canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard, surfing, just lolling in the surf.
Now, even though it’s still hot, we’re missing the trail. Must we wait until the end of September to renew our love of hiking?
No. You do have options. You need trails that either work with their surroundings or you need to know when exactly to hike.
A while back, we assembled a list of 10 mountain hikes especially suitable for summer. Those hikes are: