Last weekend, we hiked more of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake and saw our first mountain laurel bloom of the season — a lone bloom, but an impressively full and vibrant (if white can be vibrant) bloom about midway between the Shinleaf Recreation Area and NC 98. We also spent a little time exploring all the Eno River in Orange County and planning a trip next weekend to the Curtis Creek area of the Pisgah National Forest. It was a busy weekend on the trail.
Have you seen the weekend forecast? Highs in the 60s, sunny skies. Spring, finally.
We’re going to be hiking at Little River Regional Park on the Durham/Orange line Saturday morning, then visiting Harris Lake County Park for a loop around the Peninsula Trail Sunday afternoon. After a week of temperatures nearing 80, the wildflowers should be in especially good form.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park celebrates the frog, Haw River State Park celebrates wild flowers, and Asheville celebrates the fleet of foot with a trail run. It all happens Saturday, your last chance to celebrate April.
By Emily Reeves, intern
Coast: Save the Frogs
Why get out and confront the elements, sleep on hard ground, eat dehydrated food, drink water filtered from a pond, forgo fancy $5 coffee in the morning and not bathe for days on end?
Because of weekends like this past weekend spent by our GetBackpacking! group at Linville Gorge. Because of the rare chance to see half of North Carolina’s high country on a brilliantly clear day. Because of the whip-poor-will, whose enchanting (if, after a while, annoying) call serenades you throughout the night. Because of the abundance of perfectly drawn wildflowers. Because of the full moon that envelopes your campsite with just enough light. Because everything and anything tastes great after hiking 18 miles. Because it’s a weekend you won’t soon forget.
In the last two weeks, the forest floor has, finally, come alive with splashes of color: carpets of delicate white spring beauties, patches of starburst white chickweed, bursts of purple periwinkle, flashes of yellow green-and-gold.
The spring show is in its prime, but it won’t last forever. Here are five spots where you’re likely to find the season in full flower for at least the next couple of weeks (longer in the high country).