90 Second Escape: Summer Hiking: Better When Wet

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Today’s 90-Second Escape: Summer Hiking: Better When Wet

When it’s 90 degrees, about the last think you think about is taking a hike. Unless …

Unless the trail spends a generous amount of time in and out of the water. That’s been the case with two of our recent GetHiking! summer hikes: at Wilson Creek and, this past weekend, along Basin Creek in Doughton Park.

Today, we share 90 seconds of those two hikes. Because you can only live vicariously so much, we also share five of our favorite summer water trails in North Carolina. Just the thing for the hiker who eschews heat yet hates to forgo trail time during the summer. We’ll start with the two included in today’s escape.

  1. Wilson Creek area. This is the place to hike if you like water. Steep, narrow canyons that can barely accommodate a creek, let alone a parallel trail, mark this area at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Strap on the Keens, don the water shorts and go! More info here.
  2. Basin Creek, Doughton Park, Blue Ridge Parkway. From the remote Longbottom Road trail access, Basin Creek is your companion all the way to the Caudill Cabin, a total of five miles. There are a total of 15 creek crossings and numerous pools and waterfalls along the way. More info here.
  3. Mountains-to-Sea Trail, from Graveyard Fields south, Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 418.8. The Graveyard Fields access reopened earlier this month, with more parking and a restroom. The improved access makes all the more alluring a trek down the MST as it follows Yellowstone Prong. Falls and good pools highlight this stretch. More info here.
  4. Linville Gorge. The Linville Gorge Trail follows the Linville River for 13 miles, offering access to assorted pools along the way. Access to the gorge can be a challenge — it’s 1,600 feet from rim to river; the savvy hiker enters from the Table Rock Mountain access, which offers the easiest access to the gorge. More info here.
  5. Hanging Rock State Park. Live in the Piedmont and don’t have time for a trip to the mountains? Hanging Rock offers two options. Within the first half mile, Indian Creek Trail passes two waterfalls, Hidden and Window, offering opportunities to cool off. Or, hike the high trails (Moore’s Wall, Hanging Rock, Cook’s Wall), then take a dip in the park’s 12-acre mountain lake. More info here.

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