Sunday solitude on the Trails Less Traveled


Not surprisingly, some of North Carolina’s more popular state parks filled to capacity again this weekend. Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, South Mountains, Raven Rock, Stone Mountain, Occoneechee, part of Eno River all had to shut down at one point because they had reached capacity. 

On our scheduled 5-mile GetHiking! hike Sunday afternoon, we didn’t see a soul.

We’ve been focusing our efforts of late on the region’s lesser-explored gems, the trail’s less traveled. Sunday, at the Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Land, we hit the jackpot. At 1 p.m., when our socially distanced, 10-foot-spaced group of 12 hit the trail, there wasn’t a soul in site. And we never did see anyone outside our group during our nearly two hours on the trail.

I reckon there’s a good 15 miles of hiking, possibly more, on this 40,000-acre spread of land, mostly on the north side of Falls Lake. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission gives general direction to its 2 million acres of land in the state; it’s up to you to flesh out the trails, mostly in the form of closed-to-traffic gravel access roads. It’s a truer form of exploration, the kind a bottled-up-soul is particularly in need of right about now.

If you plan on getting out today, Memorial Day, we refer you to last Wednesday’s post on seeking solitude in a time of trail saturation. You’ll find guidance on how to find your own trails less traveled. As incentive, we provide a video peek at our hike yesterday on the peaceful paths above Falls Lake.

GetOut! and enjoy!


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