Hike into a season in bloom

Atop Three Top Mountain (photo courtesy Appalachian State University)

Through March in the Piedmont we’d seen only scant evidence of spring: first-responder wildflowers including trout lilies (which can appear as early as late February), bluets and a sorrel or two. Spring was kept in the deep freeze in March, was good news if you were otherwise occupied during the month and couldn’t get out.

Finally, though, come April the situation is changing. Sunny skies, warm weather and spring are finally here, and you can see evidence of it through the state. Assuming that you, like us, have been desperate for signs of the season, our sister site, NCHikes.com compiled its April list of recommended hikes with spring viewing potential in mind. Five hikes in all, one at the coast, two each in the Piedmont and mountains.

Here’s a quick preview. For more information, visit NCHikes.com.


Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve, an 1,100-acre maritime forest oasis on the Outer Banks houses an array of coastal flora and fauna (including some of the biggest cottonmouths around).


Raven Rock State Park, where the only thing that may outnumber the wildflowers are the migratory birds.

Morrow Mountain State Park, home to both wildflowers and some of the biggest hills in the Piedmont.


Linville Gorge, a wilderness and one of the wildest spots on the East Coast.

Three Top Mountain, a rare bit of forest open to the public in the state’s northern mountains, made even more rare by an abundance of trees more common to a northern hardwood forest.

Again, visit NCHikes.com for details.

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