This weekend’s hiking forecast: Hot, with highs in the mid to upper 80s under mostly sunny skies with increased humidity and a decreased chance of crowds.
The arrival of warmer weather today and into the weekend should help reduce the crowds that have been flocking to trails of late. The recent crowds are the perfect-storm result of remarkably gorgeous weather and limited entertainment options under Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home. The forecast warmer temperatures and the increased number of shopping options since May 9 means we should see fewer people on the trails this weekend. That said, if you want to really avoid the crowds:
- Hike in the afternoon. Morning temperatures in the low 60s will likely draw the bulk of people who want to get out. By early afternoon when temperatures climb into the low 80s, the trails will empty.
- Wear light clothes. Avoid heavy hiking socks, wear a shirt that breathes, break out the shorts.
- Take water, cold water. If you’re a bottle drinker, fill your water bottle 3/4 full the night before your hike and top it off before hitting the trail. If you drink from a bladder, pack it with ice and fill the rest with cold water. In either case, you should have cold water you’ll want to drink for a good two hours.
- Take a Buff or bandana. You can use it as a head covering, then, if hikers approach, it slips down and makes a dandy mask.
- Seek cooler trails. Along creeks, at higher elevations, under a protective canopy.
For more tips on hiking in hot weather, consult Wednesday’s post on the topic, here. You can also download our GetHiking! Guide to Summer Hiking free through May 18 by entering code “summerrules” at checkout. Find the guide here.
And for added incentive to get out this weekend, take a quick visit with us to the Uwharrie National Forest of Central North Carolina in today’s “Explore!” video.
What’s open, what’s not
More trails have opened in the past week, but some remain closed. It’s a good idea to check the status of your intended trail before heading out. Here are the websites for some of the larger trail managers in the region.
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- North Carolina State Parks
- North Carolina National Forests (Croatan, Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie)
- Shenandoah National Park
- Virginia National Forests (George Washington and Jefferson)
- Virginia State Parks
GetOut! and have a great weekend!