Monday, Monday: A week of early and late hikes

After paying weekly visits to Seven Mile Creek Natural Area west of Hillsborough for eight months, last week I finally had the chance to share this find with other hikers. They were equally impressed.

It was the first of our weekly GetHiking Sunrise, Sunset Summer Beat the Heat Hikes, and it lived up to the hype. Thunderstorms that had been threatening to flare throughout the afternoon vanished by hike time (7 p.m.) and we were treated to the late day light that’s special to the season. As the light faded, over rocky Seven Mile Creek and the surrounding low hills, we could feel it taking the temperature with it. We weren’t exactly chilled by hike’s end — the temperature was 89 less than an hour before the hike — but between the sheltering canopy above and a 7-degree drop by hikes end, we were no longer melting into our boots. You can see a video of that hike last Wednesday on Friday’s post.

Today, we offer a peak at this week’s Sunrise, Sunset hike, this one on the front end of the day, on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake. We’ll greet the day at 6:30 a.m., with a hike on one of the curiously less-frequented sections of the MST along Falls Lake, the stretch between Red Mill Road and Old Oxford Road in Durham. We’ll hike a 3-mile stretch of the trail (6 miles total, out-and-back) that includes bottomland forest and climbing a bluff overlooking the Eno River. The temperature around hike time should be around 70. The temperature and the emerging light should be more than enough incentive to rouse ourselves awake before sunup.

Sunrise, sunset: the two best times of day to be on the trail in summer.

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Join us

While our Wednesday GetHiking! Sunrise, Sunset Summer Beat the Hear Hike Series is full, we still have a few slots remaining for our Tuesday edition, which begins this Tuesday with the aforementioned Seven Mile Creek sunset hike. The hikes are limited to 8 hikers, masks are required at the trailhead, social distancing is enforced on the trail. There are eight hikes in the series, six at sunset, two at sunrise. Hikes range in distance from 2 to 6 miles. Sunset hikes begin at 7 p.m., sunrise hikes at 6:30 a.m. Cost is $95, and includes a guide (including map and detailed route description) for each hike, a copy of “Explore Your Neighborhood: A Guide to Discovering the World Immediately Around You,” and loaner headlamps. Learn more and sign up to join us here.


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