Hike a wilderness in North Carolina

Hike with us in 2018

We want to hike with you in 2018. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hiking since the days of leather boots and lederhosen. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a hiking trail from a paper trail. We want to hike with you, and odds are we have a program that will meet your needs as you enter the new year.

Today, we start with three hiking programs to start off the new year. Next week, we’ll tell you about our backpacking programs and weekend camping escapes.

Beginning hikers

If you’re looking for a way to be more active in 2018, hiking is an excellent way to do it. Think about your past New Year’s resolutions for exercise: most probably involved a gym and a determination to work out at least three times a week. Think about how long that effort lasted (did it make it through January?)

One problem with gym resolutions is the “work” part of the word “workout.” It just plain feels like work, something you may not be all that inclined to do.

Hiking is different. We like to focus on play. Heading up a steep hill or tackling a long trail may work up a sweat and make your muscles ache; you may be a little stiff the next day. But rare is the hiker who describes hiking to a mountaintop view or descending to a waterfall overlook as “work.”

Hiking is less about work and more about developing an active lifestyle that you can continue late into life. It’s good exercise and great stress relief. It’s movement that begets movement: you hike three miles in the Piedmont, and before long you want to hike 6 miles in the mountains. And, as a bonus, with your amped-up energy, you’ll find yourself doing those everyday goals you vowed to do — take the stairs, park at the far corner of the lot.

Ready to work play into your fitness routine? Here’s how our Beginner program works: We’ll meet Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. for eight weeks beginning Jan. 7 to hike 2-4 miles at different locations around the Triangle. Especially important to beginners: a key feature of the GetHiking! program: our hikes are led from the rear, so you’ll never be left behind. It’s as beginner-friendly a way to get into hiking as you’ll find. Learn more and sign up here.

Experienced hikers

These hikes are designed for hikers who need incentive to keep hiking through the winter. Our Experienced Hiker program keeps hikers on the trail during the sometimes challenging months of January and February. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be in shape to tackle those mountain hikes you love so much.

How our Experienced Hiker program works: We’ll meet Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. for eight weeks beginning Jan. 7. We’ll hike at various locations around the Triangle, on trails you may not know. We’ll start with a 4.2-miler to shake out the holiday cobwebs and end with a 9.7-mile hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail guaranteed to have you in mid-season form; most of the hikes in between are around 6 miles. Learn more and sign up here.

Piedmont Explorer

Designed for hikers with a bit of experience, this series will explore options beyond the Triangle that can be done comfortably in a day. Each of the six monthly hikes, on trails that are 5-6 miles long, are in areas within an hour and a half drive of the Triangle, including Medoc Mountain State Park, Raven Rock State Park, and Little River Regional Park. Explore these diverse Piedmont trails and expand your hiking resume.

Learn more and sign up here.

Next week: backpacking programs and weekend escapes.

Happy trails,


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