A person could get used to this weather, no? Temperatures in the 70s, sunny skies, crisp, dry air … . Just the incentive for getting out in the wild. We have some thoughts on the subject of where you might explore this weekend — and suggestions for where you can find more options. Just be sure to get out and enjoy!
It’s November, and Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend (Sunday at 2 a.m.). Make the most of the last day of extended afternoon sunlight by taking in:
=&0=&, Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. A park ranger plays the role of Dick Clark rocking in Standard Time with this countdown to the stars — literally, with the aid of the Forsyth Astronomy Club. More info here.
=&1=&, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Educational events, food trucks, live music — and, presumably, fur, fangs and feathers — to help mark the passage of another fabulous season of DST. More info here.
=&2=&, Occoneechee Mountain State Park, Hillsborough, Saturday, 10:30 a.m. What’s a “monadnuck”? Find out as you get the opportunity to walk around one at mighty Occoneechee, at 867 feet the tallest mountain from Hillsborough to the coast. More info here.
You can find more opportunities this weekend here:
What to do on the last weekend of July? We have a thought or two …
Geology of Stone Mountain, Saturday, 9 a.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap. No doubt you’ve looked at that strange forehead protruding from the ground, the one from which Stone Mountain gets its name, and wondered, How did that happen? Here, at this one hour program at the Hutchinson Homestead, is your chance to find out. And if you’re left at the end yearning for more, eager to know all about Stone Mountain, then stick around until 2 p.m. for “All About Stone Mountain.” (You can do some hiking in between to pass the time.) For more info on both programs and to register, go here.
=&1=&, Saturday, 8 p.m., Haw River State Park Iron Ore Belt Access, Greensboro. We love a night hike, and we especially love one where we’re not compelled to watch our every footstep to avoid rocks and roots in the trail. On the smooth-as-sandstone 3.8-mile Great Blue Heron Trail you’ll be able to focus on the wonder of the night. Bring a flashlight/headlamp with red or blue filter, bring bug spray and water. For more info and to register, go here.
=&2=&, Sunday, 11 a.m., Mount Mitchell State Park. Visiting Mount Mitchell, which tops out at 6,684 feet, is like visiting another world — so many unusual things to see at that elevation. Sunday, let a ranger explain what it is your seeing and why it’s there on this guided hike on the Balsam Trail. More info and register here.
You can find more opportunities this weekend here:
- North Carolina State Parks have a variety of adventures planned for the weekend. Check those options here.
- North Carolina Environmental Education Centers has an extensive calendar of what’s happening at its affiliates; check it out here.
- You can also find more adventures right here, at GetGoingNC.com.
And learn more about where we spent this past week, featured in the video, by visiting the web sites for
Umstead State Park
Finally, the forecast and the calendar align: we should have springlike weather this weekend.
As we’re attempting to do on an every-Friday basis, we’re here today to get you thinking about the weekend. Today, 40 seconds of last Sunday’s GetHiking! adventure at Umstead State Park in Raleigh: a little on the cool side, but sunny and glorious nonetheless.
This week, GetHiking!, in its various incarnations, will be at Haw River State Park (GetOriented!) and Hanging Rock State Park (Piedmont Explorer and GetHiking! Triad) on Saturday, on the the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through Hillsborough (GetHiking! Corporate) on Sunday. Click the appropriate link if you’re interested in joining us.
Three other ways to celebrate spring this weekend, all at your North Carolina State Parks:
On trail or off, it’s a good weekend to take a hike in North Carolina.
The Neusiok runs for 20 miles, from the Pine Cliff Picnic Area on the south bank of the Neuse River not long before the Neuse gives it up to to the Pamlico Sound, to the Newport River. Near Pine Cliff, the trail more resembles the Piedmont — even the mountains in spots. But once it crosses NC 306 headed east, it’s coastal forest all the way, passing through cypress swamps, bottom land forests and pocosins. Warm weather tends to arouse some of the regional denizens — some with little wings, some with no legs — that can make hiking an enjoyment challenge.
Sunday, however, the hiking should be good on the Neusiok, with cool temperatures and a little rain in the forest. Join our GetExploring! Greenville affiliate on a 12-mile hike of the northwesternmost portion of the Neusiok starting at 10:30 a.m.
Logistics: Sunday, 10:30 a.m., Neusiok Trail/Pine Cliff Picnic Area, Croatan National Forest, Havelock. For more information, visit the GetExploring! Greenville Meetup page.
Sunday forecast: High of 61, good chance of rain.
Ever head into the woods with your camera on a spectacular day and return with less-than-spectacular photos? What’s the deal?
No deal, really. It’s just a matter of knowing what to look for through your viewfinder. Get a better feel for capturing the scene on Saturday’s Photography Hike at Stone Mountain State Park. Let a ranger show you how to capture the sights.
Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m., Stone Mountain State Park Visitor Center. More info by calling 336.957.8185.
Saturday forecast: Sunny and 49 degrees, perfect snapshot weather.
If we weren’t already backpacking Saturday, we’d be bushwhacking through the Craggy Mountains with the Western North Carolina Alliance as part of their Prevail Off-Trail! hike.
This six-mile hike includes 1.5 miles off trail, using your wits, a map and a compass to find your way (and the helpful folks with the Western North Carolina Alliance). You’ll pass through old growth forest and score great views of the Hawksbill Creek drainage. In addition: “Please wear sturdy hiking boots and dress in warm layers such as a non-cotton long sleeve shirt and a fleece jacket. Pack with you extra layers, rain gear, lunch, snacks, and at least 2 liters of water. If you have one, please bring a compass. We’ll provide the maps!”
Logistics: Saturday, 9 a.m. Free, but registration required by going here.
Saturday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 53.
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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.
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