Winter is the honest season. Stripped bare of busy ground cover and a blurring canopy, winter is incapable of keeping a secret. Stone foundations from homesteads long abandoned lie exposed. Distant mountain peaks are revealed. Critters have nowhere to hide. It’s the perfect time to be in the woods.
There is still good fall color to be had, and based on the forecast, it’s to be had against a backdrop of crisp baby blue skies. That said, some thoughts on the weekend ahead.
- Fall Foliage Hike, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Haw River State Park, Browns Summit. What we said above about the forecast should make the colors pop even more. Learn more here.
- Fall Tree ID Hike, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap. When was the last time you slow down enough on the trail to learn a thing? Can’t recall? Then this could be the most informative half mile you’ll come across this year. Learn more here.
- Weymouth Goes to the Dogs!, Sunday, 3 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. Learn more here.
As always, 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.
Rainy today, partly sunny tomorrow: Isn’t that how the adage goes? Or something along those lines? If not, well, so be it. That’s the forecast we’re dealing with, and it’s a pretty darn good one: clouds and rain move out overnight Friday, partly sunny skies and temps in the low 60s move in — perfect weather for a weekend of exploring60Some options:
As we transition into spring, our hiking genes kick in. We think not only of our favorite two-hour hikes, but also of those hikes that present a greater challenge, that will prepare us for the epic mountain hikes we hope to take this summer, whether in our own Southern Appalachians or beyond.
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.