Yes, good fall color remains in the Piedmont. And the weather — temperatures in the low 70s under mostly sunny skies — is looking pretty good for getting out and finding it. That’s our objective for the weekend with these recommendations. First, our three hike recommendations:
- Jordan Lake Educational State Forest, Chapel Hill. We were just there Wednesday, and while some color has passed, it appeared that the majority was on the cusp. Sweetgum and red maple appeared especially close, on the Demonstration Trail. With 3.5 miles of trail, the hiking here is flat, the trails in good shape: a good beginner option. Find our guide here.
- Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access, Durham. 7-Miler on 5 trails. We try to steer you away from where the crowds will be, a criteria that typically rules out this popular state park. And while you may find some fellow hikers on the first and last half miles, the middle six should be near hiker-free. You’ll also explore some prime bottomland and upland hardwoods where the color should be good. Find our guide here.
- Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake, Day-hike sections Q,R, Raleigh. 3.2 miles (one way). From the Hickory Hill Boat Ramp head west through bottomland forest rich with what should be colorful hardwoods. As added incentive, you get to hike under Interstate 85 and along a grass airfield where you may see a biplane. Find our guide here.
Not up for exploring on your own? North Carolina State Parks has 10 events scheduled this weekend, including a Ranger Billy hike at Umstead State Park: A Little Bit of Everything Hike. Some of it is off-trail and includes visits to the old Camp Craggy Boy Scout Camp and possibly the “unparalleled, awe inspiring, easily rivaling Niagara Falls pride of Umstead, Twin Falls.” Learn more on that hike, for which registration is required for the 15 available slots, here.
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Our three hikes
Interested in hiking one or all of our three recommended hikes? For this weekend only — through Sunday — you can download them as a package by going here. You can waive the usual fee for our guides through Sunday by entering the code CJRQEKH8 at checkout.