Get Out! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

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.

We mentioned last week that we also saw our first traces of poison ivy. Traces? Tracts is more like it, ominously sneaking right up to the trail as if it intend to grab us by the ankle and wreak itchy havoc. That prompted us to put together an advisory on how to avoid poison ivy as well as ticks and mosquitoes as we head into our first 90-degree weekend of the summer. 90! Woo hoo.

With the temperature and Mom (Sunday’s Mother’s Day, remember) in mind, we bring you our three picks for adventure this weekend. Get Out and enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, noon. Wildflowers, Mount Mitchell State Park. When the temperature is 90 in the Piedmont wouldn’t you rather check out the evolving statewide wildflower bloom in a place where it may not even get out of the 60s? Grab your layers and follow a ranger on this 1-hour search for the wildflowers abloom above 6,000 feet. Learn more and sign up here.

Sunday, May 13, 8 p.m. Night Hike, Carvers Creek State Park, Spring Lake. You can go high (Mount Mitchell) to escape the heat, or you can wait until sundown and tag along with a ranger on a night hike! On this night, the plan is to hike, with flashlight or headlamp in hand (or on head), down to the millpond in search of “different types of birds, reptiles and amphibians, and any other crepuscular dweller.” Learn more and sign up here.

Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, Paddle the Haw River, Saxapahaw. On both Saturday and Sunday, our friends at Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. will be running trips on the damed stretch of the Haw River above Saxapahaw. Shuttled trips from Swepsonville River Park to Saxapahaw Lake (just under 5 miles of Class A flat water) run at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Or, put in near the dam and paddle upstream against an ever-so-subtle current at your leisure. For more information and to sign up, go here.

In addition:

  • Several hikes are on tap this weekend with Hike NC, the BlueCross Blue Shield of North Carolina hiking program. Check out those mostly beginner-oriented hikes at 
  • North Carolina State Parks have a variety of adventures planned for the weekend. Check those options here.
  • Our GetHiking! program has hikes planned, including a a hike in Panthertown Valley. Learn more and sign up here.
  • You can also find more adventures right here, at


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