On a weekend that may be wet in spots but will also be cool (and who knows how much longer this will last?), we’re advocating exploring by foot. At the coast, you can truly get away from it all (on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s Coastal Crescent route). In the Piedmont, it may be your last chance for a cool-weather hike. And in the mountains, you have a chance to sample a 54-mile route you probably don’t know exists.
We have a swamp theme at the coast and (near) Piedmont this week: paddle one (and perhaps see a ‘gator) at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge near Manteo, or run through one on the Wilson Swamp Stomp. Meanwhile, Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day, and while its website lists only four locations in North Carolina with events scheduled (see below), truth be told there are several North Carolina State Parks holding NGOD events. We tell you about the one at Chimney Rock State Park; you can learn about the others here.
Leave the driving to a park ranger on a boat trip up the Scuppernong River, hike Hanging Rock with GetHiking! Triangle, or hike into history in the Swannanoa Valley.
Pettigrew State Park offers frequent tours of the Scuppernong River. Usually, those tours are by canoe, a great way to experience the Scuppernong but not everyone’s cup of tea-colored water. Saturday, the park lets you leave the paddling to others on its afternoon Scuppernong River Tour. One advantage: without having to deal with navigation you can focus on the waterway’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty.