Tag Archives: summer

Hiking: Where to beat the heat

Appalachian Trail

The following is a rejiggering of a piece that originally ran Aug. 6, 2014, titled, “Summer Hiking: Beat the Heat.”

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

90 Second Escape: Rope Swing

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

90 Second Escape: Warm weather?

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more