When you have a hankering to head for the hills, but don’t have time for a trip to the mountains, you can drive an hour or so to the mountains in the midst of the Piedmont.
In fact, long ago — 300 million to 500 million years — the Piedmont was the mountains. They bubbled out of the ground via volcanic activity, thrust as high as 20,000 feet by the crunching and colliding and folding of tectonic plates.read more
It started two weeks ago with a serenade by spring peepers in a pond at Horton Grove Nature Preserve. It was reinforced a day later by the sudden appearance of perky yellow daffodils near an old homestead along the Eno River. Then, last Friday, on a hike through bottomland forest at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough, I got the sign I’d been waiting for: a trout lily unfurling its delicate yellow and maroon petals.read more
It started as a mellow saunter, progressed to an up-tempo hike, then, on a modest downhill, evolved into a trot. It was one of my first hikes at the Triangle Land Conservancy’s new Brumley Forest property near Hillsborough, and the absence of rocks and tree roots coupled with the gentle flow reminded me of my bygone days of being able to run a 10-minute mile on trail.read more
Saturday sees a return to seasonable temperatures and sun, suitable for a day of adventure. Sunday … not so much. Unless you’re going skiing, check out our Saturday recommendations.
One of the big struggles of modern parenting is motivating our kids to move. Back in the day, it was no problem: you could stay inside and watch one of the four channels (three of which were airing mom’s soaps) on the Zenith, or you could go outside and get into mischief. Nearly all of us went the mischief route.read more
First, a note that all North Carolina State Parks and most municipal and county parks are closed Christmas Day (Sunday). Thus, if you plan any park exploring, best get it in Saturday (or Friday!). That said … .
Coast | Coastal Plain
Got visiting kin who could use a bit of movement and wouldn’t mind learning about North Carolina history? Load ‘em in the car Saturday morning and head them down to Carvers Creek State Park near Spring Lake, for a 3-Mile History Hike, taking in the grist mill, pavilion, silos and other features of this property, once a farm owned by James Stillman Rockefeller.read more