Your best shot at weekend adventure this weekend: do it Saturday because Sunday it looks like you might be iced in. More about Sunday in a moment. First, a thing or three to do Saturday:
Hike to Tory’s Den, Saturday, 1 p.m., Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. We did this hike for the first time a couple months back and were struck by the contrast to the top of Hanging Rock. Whereas the top of the mountain is dominated by rock outcrop and dazzling views, the same rock outcrops here at the base are festooned in rhododendron and mountain laurel, making for a most intimate hike — and place to hide, as British Loyalists did during the American Revolution. A ranger tells all. Learn more and sign up here.
Tunnel Trail Hike, Saturday, 10 a.m., Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock. New trail alert! An effort is underway to build a continuous trail along the horseshoe-shaped rim of the Hickory Nut Gorge southeast of Asheville. A big part of that effort is the recently completed Weed Patch Mountain Trail on the north rim of the gorge. Saturday, the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park lead a hike from the west end of Weed Patch to Eagle Rock: the two-mile out-and-back includes passage through a naturally occurring tunnel. The hike is lead by the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park. A fee may apply. Learn more and sign up here.
North American Wood Duck, Sunday, 3 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. We’ll throw in one Sunday event, in the coastal plain, which may avoid winter’s visit. This one-mile hike checkouts Weymouth Woods wetlands in search of this festively colored fowl. Learn more and sign up here.
Now, about that winter weather:
- State parks. If you’re planning a visit, North Carolina State Parks are good about posting weather-related closures on their website (they’ve already closed all mountain campgrounds for Saturday to Monday). If in doubt, check here first.
- Cross-country skiing. If you’re a northern expat and still have your cross-country skis, here’s where you might be able to use ‘em in the Piedmont. And find where to x-country in the mountains, here.
- Hiking. And because we don’t get to hike in the snow all that often, you might need a refresher in how to make that happen comfortably and safely. For that, head here.
About today’s video: We shot this week’s inspirational video on a scouting trip Thursday on the Weetock Trail in the coastal Croatan National Forest. The trail is among the wildest and most elusive we know. It’s also the location of our first big GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods day trip, next Saturday, Dec. 15. Learn more about the Weetock and that trip, here.