Wednesday, we talked about “back door” hikes, hikes that are off the beaten path, hikes at some of our favorite places, but without the crowds. He brought up these hikes because escaping the masses will be even more of a challenge as the fall hiking season approaches,
a fall hiking season likely to see more hikers than ever before as the pandemic plods along. That’s where our focus will be for the next little while: helping you get out on the trail and finding the solitude you seek.
It’s probably another month until fall’s crowd-drawing weather kicks in. So take advantage of this cover of heat by hiking some of trails you love that will soon be loved to death. Five of our favorites:
- Buckquarter Creek/Holden Mill figure-8 Loop, Eno River State Park, Durham. 4.2 miles. A mix of ridgeline hiking and passage along the Eno River make for a best-of-both worlds hike. Learn more here.
- Company Mill Trail, Umstead State Park, Raleigh. 5.8 miles. The first mile of this lollipop loop (the stick) down to Crabtree Creek is the most popular stretch of trail in a very popular park. Make it to the loop, and — well, any more, you’ll still see people. Hike it now. Learn more here.
- Pinnacle Trail, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain. 2 miles. Any trail that starts from a visitor center and reaches a peak will be popular, even a challenging trail such as Pinnacle Trail at Crowders Mountain. Hike it now, too, because there’s little room at the tip for lingering when you arrive to plant your flat. Learn more here.
- Ledge Spring Trail, Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. 1 mile (one way). Another path with a view that gets exceptionally popular in fall. Hike it now while you can enjoy the climbers scaling the one-pitch climb just off the trail and the views of the Blue Ridge to the west. Learn more here.
- Cox Mountain Trail, Eno River State Park, Durham. 3.75 miles. You can find solitude on this hike which includes a bagged peak and a walk along the Eno, but you won’t find it much longer. The main problem? While this linear park has numerous access points, when you Google it, the resulting address brings you to Cox Mountain (the subject of today’s video, btw). Learn more here.