Another mostly sunny weekend with daytime highs in the low 50s.
In other words, another weekend where you might be hard-pressed to find a trail that isn’t swamped with hikers. And, as a result, another GetOut! column in which we try to point you in the direction of trails less likely to attract the masses.
Today, we have three recommendations. We offer a quick overview and a link for more information. In addition, at the end of the column we offer you our guides for each of the three hikes.
First, the three hikes:
- Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake: Day-Hike Section L (Rollingview Access to NC 98), Durham. 3.2 miles (one way; 6.4 out and back). The first three-quarters-of-a-mile is a gradual downhill, letting you loosen up your legs for the gently rolling terrain ahead. Lake views are best near the beginning; after that, the trail roles, gently, through Piedmont mixed hardwood forest. A good option if you’re looking to get some miles in, though with the route description in our guide you can cut your hike short to a more comfortable distance. Learn more here.
- Butner-Falls Lake Game Lands: Butner Depot, Bahama. 5 miles. How do you overlook 40,000 acres of public land along Falls Lake? For one, it’s mostly on the north side of the lake, and thus shielded from public view. It’s also designated game lands, intended primarily for hunting. But hikers are welcome, and if you know the hunting seasons you can avoid close encounters of the buckshot kind. Most of the hiking is on gravel roads closed to traffic but open to great views of wetlands and dry passage through swampy woods. Learn more here.
- Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area, Snow Camp. 2.5 miles. Part of the reason this 1,000-acre tract is lesser known is that it’s new, having opened this past spring. Another reason: it’s near Snow Camp. Which is where? you ask. Exactly. Yet here you can explore the highest “peaks” in the central Piedmont, rising more than 900 feet above sea level. An alpine escape south of Burlington. Learn more here.
State Park programs
Up for learning a thing or two this weekend? Six educational programs are planned at North Carolina State Parks, including Saturday’s Geology for Kids hike at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Hillsborough and Hoof It or Woof It, a dog-friendly hike at Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro. Learn more about these and the other four weekend programs here.
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GetHiking! Guide to 3 Trails Less Traveled
Our guides to the three hikes described above provide all the information you need to take a hike on your own, including a map, route description and detailed overview including everything from length and difficulty of the trail, to how to find it in the first place. Order your downloadable copies this weekend, enter the code 7TMK3B3Y, and get 50 percent off the $1.99 purchase price. Discover the guide here.