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.read more
Fall is a great time to be outdoors in North Carolina; this weekend there are several ways to enjoy the season: hike a swamp at the coast, run a marathon in a Piedmont forest, paddle a mountain river — at night.
Lots of people go to Merchants Millpond State Park, almost all to paddle the cypress- and tupelo-peppered millpond. But the park, nestled in the swampy northeast corner of the state, also has hiking trail (it even has backcountry camping). Saturday, you can tag along with a ranger on a nature hike through the park, a good opportunity to learn about the swamplike environment. Bug spray recommended.read more