Welcome fall, take a hike!

Hard to beat the top of the East Coast (the Black Mountain Crest Trail) on a crisp, fall day.

Wednesday evening, three of my Ultimate Hikers and I met for a hike under the headlamps. It was a little after 7 p.m. as we gathered at the trailhead. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones gathering.

“I think it’s staying to the west of us,” Robert optimistically offered.


“I think you’re — ”


“ — right,” I agreed.

Undaunted, enthusiastic and acting much like the skink who pretends not to notice the rat snake with a napkin tied around it’s throat that’s sidled up to it, we headed down the trail. Within a minute, the rain, which had been light, turned heavy and horizontal. The blinding light show reminded me of discos long (thankfully) past. Five minutes down the trail I stopped, turned, and above the din of thunder and water being fire-hosed from the sky, yelled, “Maybe this isn’t such a great idea … .”

You won't be seeing green much longer hiking along the Eno River.

Wednesday night, hiking was not a good idea. And, based on the forecast, today may not be quite so hot, Saturday, either. But starting Sunday, great hiking weather — sunny, dry, high in the low- to mid-70s — returns to the Piedmont and the mountains. Thus, we are recommending that you work beaverishly through Saturday, then take a day, or two, or three, and hit the trail.

I’ll tease you with a couple photos, then direct your attention here, to our sister NCHikes.com site, where you’ll find five hikes especially well-suited for September. (For additional hikes, scout around under “Trip Recommendations” on the home page.)

Happy hiking. And happy first day of fall.

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