Fall, with its crisp air, cool temperatures and dazzling color, is a time when everyone, it seems, wants to be on the trail. Those crowds, especially now, can detract from the experience we seek when we head outdoors. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Not every good trail gets overwhelmed on a gorgeous fall weekend. Some may be new and unknown, some may be hard to find, some simply fly under the radar.
As incentive to get out and hike this weekend, we’ve packaged three of our favorite fall hikes minus the crowds into a mini-guide. In the guide you’ll find the reason we think you should hike there, plus all the logistical information — from directions to a trail description to a custom map — you’ll need to take the hike.
In this package of Three Hikes for Fall, we have examples of all three.
- The new. Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area opened this spring with 3 miles of hiking on a mountain that tops 900 feet, practically Alp-esque by Triad standards. Located south of Burlington, it’s also a bit off the beaten path.
- The hard-to-find. Orange County’s Seven Mile Creek Natural Area lies off a dirt road that’s fed by a dirt road that’s off a lonely country two-lane. You can’t get more off the grid than that in an urban area. Two miles of trail takes in a feisty Piedmont creek, mature hardwoods and a preview of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s path between Saxapahaw and Hillsborough.
- The under-the-radar. It’s hard to say why the 3.2-mile Day-Hike Section L of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake sees less traffic than its 17 fellow sections in the MST’s Section 10: it’s easily accessible, the trail tread is on great shape, the terrain is scenic yet mellow. Explore in solitude while you can.
These are great hikes any time of year. Because of their anonymity, they’re especially good during hiking’s peak seasons. As extra incentive to hike them this weekend, if you can download the guide for free, by entering the code FGRCTEN5 at checkout.
Hiking weather is coming this weekend, with overnight lows dipping into the upper 30s, daytime highs barely reaching 60. It’s the perfect weekend to hit the trail.
GetHiking! Guide to Three Hikes for Fall
Learn more about our Three Hikes for Fall and download them by going here. And remember, you can waive the fee through Sunday by entering the code FGRCTEN5 at checkout.
Today’s virtual hike
Today’s video comes from one of our Three Hikes for Fall: Day-Hike Section L of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake.