Let’s start with the weekend forecast: A summertime forecast, especially for Saturday, when we’re looking at temperatures around 90 with the chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Sunday, it cools into mid-80s under mostly sunny skies.
Now, the options, which we’ll break into two categories:
The beach. You can go to the beach, but what you can do there varies by municipality. Best to Google the beach of your desire before heading out. Certain access points may be restricted, restrooms may be closed. You can find the latest on Wilmington-area beaches here, Crystal Coast beaches here.
Inland natural waters. North Carolina State Parks has yet to open its inland beaches and swim areas. You might have luck with local public swim spots or in creeks, streams and lakes that you’re comfortable with.
Swimming pools. Pools are now allowed to open under Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest Safer-at-Home order, but at 50 percent capacity. What exactly does that mean? You’ll need to check with your pool of choice to find out.
On the water. Boating of all stripes remains a popular way to get some socially distanced recreation. If you have a boat, you likely already know where you can put in. If you’ve just gotten a boat — kayak sales have skyrocketed of late — and are trying to figure out where you can paddle, a good start is the North Carolina Boating Access Areas online map from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Check it out here.
Most, but not all trails have reopened. And some trails that had reopened have reclosed due to overcrowding. We’ve found that the region’s largest land managers have been good about keeping their websites updated with such vital information. Again, we recommend checking ahead before heading out:
- 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
We’re also recommending a hike this week, one especially well-suited for those of you new to hiking who live in the Triangle area. It’s the focus of today’s video: a 3.2-mile hike at Duke Forest, a research forest consisting of more than 7,000 acres spread over three counties. The route we suggest is a 3.2-mile loop in Durham that includes passage through a canyon carved by New Hope Creek.
You can find our GetHiking! Guide to this hike here, on our website. Download it before Monday, enter code 6ZN7UN55, and we’ll waive the 99-cent fee.
Enjoy the weekend — and GetOut!
GetHiking! Guide to Summer Hiking. It’s too hot to hike! you protest. Or maybe it’s more a matter of you not having learned the joys of summer hiking and discovered the right way to do it. Our 7-page GetHiking! Guide to Summer Hiking discusses the joys of summer hiking (the green and the quiet, for starters), and goes over how you can beat the heat on the trail. Download the guide, for 99 cents, here.