Tag Archives: programs

Don’t be SAD. Take a hike!

Feeling SAD lately?

You know, Seasonal Affective Disorder—a depression that can set in when the days are short and the sun sets too early in the day. Once this mood-altering disorder takes hold, it can be hard to shake; it’s best to fight it off before it has a chance to make itself at home, leaving you hibernating uncomfortably.

One way to combat SAD, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to go outside and move—the more regularly, the better. Even when it’s cold, a brisk walk in outdoor light can help. Another way to lift your mood is to be with other people; socializing with a dose of laughter helps you connect with others. And regular hiking can reduce levels of stress, which can contribute to SAD symptoms.

Frankly, all of us could stand to reduce stress levels. So, even if SAD doesn’t get you down, brisk movement and being with others is a great way to keep stress at bay by releasing endorphins and elevating your mood.

As always, we are here to help.

We have several winter programs designed to get you out and moving with a group of supportive fellow hikers. For new hikers who need an especially nurturing environment, we have our Beginning Hiker Series. For more established hikers who want to stay in the habit of hiking during winter, we have our Experienced Hiker series. Both of these programs meet every Sunday afternoon for eight weeks.

For a fresh change of scenery, which can shake things up in a good way, we have a monthly Piedmont Explorer series, which will take you along trails that you may be familiar with and haven’t explored, or perhaps didn’t even know existed.

In addition, we post regular hikes thought our seven GetHiking! chapters.

Meanwhile, here at GetGoingNC HQ, we’re sprucing up some programs for sunnier days ahead. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

Happy trails,

Joe

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Click on the following for more info:

This weekend: Bundle up and learn something

Carvers Creek State Park (photo courtesy North Carolina State Parks)

Temperatures across the state this weekend are generally forecast to stay in the 40s under mostly sunny skies. Ideal weather, in our view, for getting out and learning a little about the world around us. Courtesy of North Carolina State Parks, we bring you three options for doing just that. (And you can find more at the State Parks website.)

Coast

Carvers Creek State Park is the newest addition to the North Carolina State Park system. Authorized by the General Assembly in 2005, the 4,000-acre park near Spring Lake in Cumberland County currently has few opportunities for public access. So when an opportunity does arise, we like to jump on it.

Sunday’s Rockefeller House Tour is one such opportunity. A park ranger will lead a hike to the old James Stillman Rockefeller winter estate, which includes structures dating back to the early 1800s. A good opportunity to learn about the natural and human history of the area, known for its longleaf pine stand and as home to several endangered and protected plants and animals.

Logistics: Sunday, Jan. 26, 1 p.m. Carvers Creek State Park, Spring Lake. More info and to register for this free event, call 910.436.4681.

Sunday forecast: Sunny, high of 49.

Piedmont

The Geology Hike at Occoneechee Mountain is a GGNC favorite. In large part, that’s because most nature programs focus on plants or animals: this one is about the rock that helps make Occoneechee Mountain unique. For one, at 820 feet, Occoneechee is the highest point in the Triangle. The pyrophyllite rock that is the mountain was once highly valued and, for years, quarried, creating an unusual (for this neck of the woods) cliff face. From near the top you get an unobstructed view north and west. And, the hike is led by a bonafide geologist.

There’s more to enjoy on a hike at Occoneechee, as you’ll discover on this hour-long program.

Logistics: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2 p.m. Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. To register for this free event, call 919.383.1686.

Saturday forecast: Clouds, high of 44.

Mountains

The Hickory Nut Gorge area of western North Carolina is quickly opening up as an adventure destination, with addition of more public lands. One of the biggest recent additions: Chimney Rock State Park, a 5,700-acre former private park brought into the State Park system in 2005. With more public lands come more opportunities to explore one of the most ecologically unique areas in the state.

With those opportunities come questions about just what it is you’re hiking or climbing past. Sunday is your chance to answer some of those questions at Extraordinary Cliff Dwellers, a program focusing on the endangered and threatened species in the park.

Logistics: Sunday, Jan. 26, 9-11 a.m. Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock.

Sunday forecast: Sunny, high of 43.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

NCCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).

Mountains

Asheville Citizen-Times read more

This weekend is for the birds

Northern pintails in flight. Photo courtesy N.C. State Parks

With the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in full swing we’ve got birds on the mind this weekend. For birders, amateurs and experienced alike, it’s an especially good time to do the count: Migrants from northern climes are descending upon the state, particularly the coastal part, to wait out the winter months, adding even more variety to the state’s mix. And, as it turns out, it’s an especially good time for birding programs.

Coast

We mentioned the winter migrants flocking to the coast. It’s all very exciting, but who are these snowbirds? Where do they come from? What is it they like our coast? Those questions and more will be answered at Saturday’s “Winter Birding Basics” at Dismal Swamp State Park in the northeast corner of the state.

Logistics: Saturday, Dec. 28, 2 p.m. Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills. Free. More info: 252.771.6593

Saturday forecast: High of 58 with sunny skies.

Piedmont

The program Friday morning at Umstead State Park in Raleigh is called “Birding for the Young,” but we’re guessing mom and dad, grandma and grandad, will be able to learn a thing or two about the birds common to the Piedmont in winter. Minimum age is 5; there is no maximum.

Logistics: Friday, Dec. 27, 10:30 a.m. Umstead State Park, Raleigh. Free, but preregistration required, by calling 919.571.4170.

Saturday forecast: High of 51, mix of clouds and sunshine.

Mountains

Since we mentioned that the Christmas Bird Count is currently on, we would be remiss not to include at least one count for this weekend, and to let you know where you can find out about others. The one count this weekend in the mountains is Sunday in Henderson County. The way the count works is this: citizen scientists such as yourselves fan out over an area 15 miles in diameter and conduct an inventory of the birds they see. Aren’t that great at identifying birds? Not a problem, since each count will have plenty of experienced birders on hand who can help those of you earning your feathers.

Logistics: Sunday, Dec. 29. Contact organizer Wayne Forsythe for details and to be assigned a coverage area: 828.697.6628 or wforsythe@morrisbb.net . To find out about other local Christmas Bird Counts, visit the Carolina Bird Club website.

Sunday forecast: High of 46, occasional rain.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

NCCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine read more

This weekend: Save a turtle, celebrate a squirrel (or eat one)

Aw!

We’re going with an animal theme this week. Turtles at the coast, bears and other hearty survivors in the mountains … and would you believe we’re celebrating the squirrel in the Piedmont?

Coast

Ever been walking along the coast and come across an area marked off with yellow tape? Holy crustacean killing! you think. Actually, the area has probably been roped off to protect a sea turtle nest. Sea turtles are revered at the coast and you can find out why this Saturday and Sunday when the rangers at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area talk turtle at Turtle Talk. Some of the critter’s mysteries will be unveiled and you can find out more about the conservation effort behind that yellow tape.

Logistics: The program is both days, at 2:30 p.m., in the park’s Exhibit Room. No fee, find out more about Fort Fisher here, more about sea turtles here.

Weekend forecast: Highs in the mid-60s, 30-40 percent chance of rain. True, the program is indoors, but afterward you’ll want to take a hike on the intriguing Hermit Trail.

Piedmont

I will refrain from mentioning the number of their kind that I have inadvertently hit on my bike (7) and move right to the fact that Saturday is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Yes, a day to celebrate what Charlotte’s Reedy Creek Nature Center refers to as “adorable mammals,” what we refer to as neurotic nut-hiding nitwits. And celebrate sciurus obnoxious they will at Reedy Creek, from 2-3 p.m. Saturday. “We’ll feed them, read about them, and celebrate all that is squirrelly about those squirrels!” exclaims an excited park. If that sounds like a good excuse to get out and explore the woods, the particulars follow.

The particulars: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2-3 p.m. at the Reedy Creek Nature Center. It’s free, but registration is requested, by calling 704.432.6460. More about the event here.

Saturday forecast: High of 59, 30 percent chance of rain.

Mountains

Do you know how a bear might celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day? By having one for dinner (that’s “for,” not “over for”). Harsh! you think? Actually, that’s survival. So what else to animals do to survive, especially to survive a harsh winter like the ones often suffered in the animal kingdom at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area? Find out Saturday at 2 p.m. on an Animal Adaptations Hike atop Mount Jefferson.

Logistics: Program is Saturday at 2 p.m. Free, no registration required. For more info, go here.

Saturday forecast: High in the mid-40s, 50 percent chance of rain.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide read more