That rain that moved through the region yesterday ushered in a cool front that will drop temperatures into the low 80s throughout much of GetGoingNC’s adventure land, ideal weather for some weekend adventure. There may be a rogue thunderstorm or two Sunday afternoon, but by-and-large, pretty delightful weather.
That said, we must leave you now for a long delayed backpack trip to South Mountains State Park.
But before we go, some resources to help you plan your weekend:
If you’re staying close to home — where it’s safer — we have two suggestions:
Duke Forest. More than 7,000 acres spread over three counties with miles of trail open to the public. Today’s video explores one of our favorite places to explore, in the forest’s Korstian Division, in Durham. You can find additional information on exploring Duke Forest at the Duke Forest website.
Mountains-to-Sea Trail. The MST, North Carolina’s statewide trail, runs 120 miles through the Triangle and links Pilot Mountain with Hanging Rock north of the Triad — lots of good exploring to be had here. Learn about where to pick up the trail here.
Carolina Thread Trail. In the Charlotte area (including South Carolina), the Carolina Thread Trail now includes 300 miles of dirt trail and 170 miles of blueway in a 15-county area (eventually, the plan is a 1,600-mile trail network linking the region). Learn where you can explore the CTT here.
Local land trusts also provide great opportunities for exploring, including:
Triangle Land Conservancy. The TLC has been protecting land in the Triangle since the 1980s, and has seven preserves currently open for exploring, including a GetHiking! favorite, Horton Grove Nature Preserve in northern Durham County. Learn more and support them here.
Catawba Lands Conservancy. Among their efforts, the CLC is the driving force behind the Carolina Thread Trail, an ongoing effort to link 16 counties in the Charlotte area (including in South Carolina) with trail. Learn more and support them here.
Piedmont Land Conservancy. The PLC has protected more than 24,000 acres in a nine-county region, mostly in the Triad, including one of our favorite spots to hike, the Knight Brown Nature Preserve near Greensboro. Learn more and support them here.
Piedmont Environmental Council. Has worked with landowners to protect more than 420,000 acres of rural and natural land in the piedmont area around Charlottesville. Learn more and support them here.
Conservation Trust for North Carolina. Based in Raleigh, this nonprofit has saved most of its land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but is active elsewhere. We’re particularly intrigued by their Princeville Collaborative project, where they’re working to help instill land conservation principals in a coastal plain community recovering from two 100-year floods in a 17-year span. Learn more and support them here.
More than a thousand miles of trail can be found in the following:
- 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! this weekend. And enjoy!