Holiday Adventures with Visiting Family and friends

It’s a common challenge over the holidays: you have family and friends visiting from afar — now, what are you going to do with them?

Take them on an adventure! Or, rather, let us help you take them on an adventure!

We’ve got several outdoor adventures this holiday season that are ideal for getting everyone out of the house and showing off the region’s great outdoor attributes! 

Here’s what we’ve got going on.


Celebrate Black Friday in living color on our Backlash Hike

Friday, Nov. 29

9 a.m. – noon

Black Friday Backlash Hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Upper Barton Creek Boat Ramp, Raleigh

If the thought of queuing up at 2 a.m. with a couple hundred other people in the hopes of scoring a 40 percent off big screen TV isn’t your idea of a noble quest, join us for a 4.2-mile hike on a trail that runs nearly 1,200 miles across the state. We’ll hike one of our favorite stretches of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through the Triangle, a 2.1-mile run that brushes up to Falls Lake, ducks in and out of several coves, discovers a hidden beach and even spends a short time on a long-abandoned stretch of blacktop from the days before there was a Falls Lake. We might even be treated to a lingering splash of fall color.

More info and sign up here.


Enjoying a view of the Uwharries, from atop Little Long Mountain

Saturday, Dec. 7

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

I Hike for Cookies

It’s our annual dessert potluck at Umstead State Park. Everyone brings a favorite baked good (you don’t have to be the one who baked it), we supply the hot chocolate and hot tea. We nibble and kibitz for a short bit, then head down the trail, with hike options of 4.2 and 5.9 miles. 

More info and sign up here.

Friday, Dec. 27

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

A Uwharrie Holiday Adventure

Uwaharrie National Forest, Asheboro

In less than an hour and a half drive from Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle, you can impress your out-of-town visitors with North Carolina’s oft-overlooked mountain range: the Uwharries. The Uwharrie Mountains have several peaks topping 1,000 feet; our destination will be the lone point in the Uwharries where you have a sweeping mountaintop vista: Little Long Mountain. We’ll have two options on this hike: For the avid hikers in the group, we’ll have a 7-mile (out-and-back) that tops Kings Mountain, at 1,015 feet the highest point on the Uwharrie Trail, en route to Little Long Mountain. For hikers with a little less trail experience, we have a 1.5-mile (out-and-back) option. We’ll have lunch and enjoy the view before heading back.

Lunch and trail snacks included. $45

More info and sign up here

weekend adventure
A more civilized stretch of the Weetock Trail, Croatan National Forest

Saturday, Dec. 28

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Backcountry Adventure at the Coast: Weetock Trail

Croatan National Forest near Swansboro

At its northern trailhead off NC 58 near Maysville, the Weetock Trail seems like just another trail: there’s parking, a trailhead with a kiosk. And for the first 3 miles or so there’s easy-to-follow trail. But then you cross a dirt road and … is that the trail on the other side? Or does it head down the road — and if so, which way? The trail’s uncertainty through a mix of coastal savannah and upland swamp is one of the things we love most about the Weetock — that and the fact it dives deep into woods that are both mysterious and oddly comforting on a sunny winter’s day. It’s one of our favorite winter hikes. The trail has some mild ups and downs and points, but is largely flat. Winter is the best time — the only time — to dive deep into a coastal forest.

Trail snacks and a detailed hike guide including map is included. $45

Learn more and sign up here.

Outdoor skills
GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods

Monday, Dec. 30

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods Family Edition

Umstead State Park, Cary

What better way to spend a winter afternoon than exploring the woods like a kid (and with a kid!) looking for signs of the distant past — and learning a backcountry skill in the process. We start with a 20-minute session familiarizing you with how to read a topographic map and how to use a compass, then head down the trail — and off — to help you feel more comfortable navigating the woods. In the process, we’ll seek the often subtle signs of the forest’s human past. A great family activity that involves about 4 miles of hiking with lots of stopping along the way.

Compass and customized topo map are provided. $45 for individuals, $75 for families of up to 4 people.

Learn more and sign up here.

Let the sun set on 2019 on our New Year’s Even hike

Tuesday, Dec. 31

7-9 p.m.

GetHiking! New Year’s Eve Night Hike!

Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Raleigh

Join our GetHiking! Tuesday Night Hikes program for a special edition Tuesday night New Year’s Eve hike. Looking for a non-traditional way to welcome 2020? We’ll hike about 4.5 miles under the lights (headlamps, which we provide), then toast the new year (a wee bit early) with hot chocolate! If you’ve never hiked at night, it’s a great way to get a jump on that resolution to try new things in 2020! We hike as a group, no one gets left behind. It’s an adventurous way to welcome the new year!

Headlamp provided, hot chocolate after the hike. $15

Learn more and sign up here

Custom Holiday Adventures

Don’t see a hike that meets your needs or schedule? Email us, at, gives us a general idea of what you’re interested in — including approximate length of hike, difficulty, type of terrain you’d like, how much time you have, and a general description of the activity level of people in your party — and what date and time you have in mind, and we will respond with some options.

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