GetOut! Possible thunderstorms, definite wildflowers

Finally, the classic warm-weather forecast: Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. 


We’re not really sure what’s going to happen. 


Plan your weekend as usual, but before heading out, check the radar. It will be pleasantly warm this weekend — perhaps topping 80 in the Piedmont, but mostly in the upper 70s — but not hot enough to generate those pop-up storms that come from nowhere. (And no, I am not a meteorologist, just a guy who’s spent most of his life poking a wet index finger in the air to gauge the weather.) Thus, if you check the radar of choice of your weather app, you’ll be able to fairly accurately judge what’s coming, at least within the next few hours. If your radar has a projection function, engage it to see where the weather is likely headed.

Then, head out and look for wildflowers!

Though the trout lilies have passed — narrow bloom window, they — so many other wildflowers are now in bloom. Spring beauties, which first appeared in February? Still abundant. Just this week we’ve also seen star chickweed, common chickweed and sticky mouse-ear chickweed; early saxifrage, violets, bluets, rue-anemone, Dutchman’s breeches (pictured above) and more. 

Where can one find spring wildflowers this weekend? 

For starters, Grandfather Mountain State Park kicks off its popular Spring wildflower hike series Saturday with a mellow 3-hour hike on the Profile Trail, along the Watauga River. Space is limited, preregistration is required, by calling 828.963.9522 or by emailing Find more info here.

And here are some recommendations for some of our favorite wildflower hikes:

  • GetHiking! Guide to Brumley Forest North in Hillsborough. A 3.5-mile trail network made for a weekend like this: you can hike one trail, you can hike ‘em all, if the weather holds. Find it here.
  • GetHiking! Guide to Hiking Raven Rock’s Bridle Trails. Hankerin’ for a longer hike? These two 4-mile loops start from the same trailhead: finish the West Loop and the coast (or, rather, the sky) is clear? Tack on the East Loop for an even 8. Find it here.
  • Brumley Forest North Nature Preserve, Chapel Hill. Just over 3 miles of trail takes you through a variety of terrain, including several open areas — meadows, farm ponds — where you can take in the warming sun. Check out our guide, here.
    Confluence Natural Area, Hillsborough. Where the east and west branches of the Eno River meet you’ll find this 200-acre preserve operated by the Eno River Association. About 2 miles of trail, much of it along the Eno’s intimate beginnings. Check out our guide, here.
  • Eno River Fews Ford 7-Miler, Eno River State Park, Durham. We crafted this hike out of five trails in the park’s Fews Ford Access with the goal of quickly escaping weekend crowds and enjoying a quieter, more laid-back Eno. The Shakori Trail was in particularly fine wildflower form earlier this week. Check out our guide, here.
  • Three daffodil hikes. Where there are daffodils, a sturdy perennial that blooms as early as January, there are typically wildflowers to follow. Find three of our favorite hikes from above — Brumley Forest North, Confluence Natural Area and the Eno River Fews Ford 7-Miler — in this package. Check out our guide, here.
  • 5 Great Short Hikes in the Triangle. Short hikes of less than 4 miles perfect for beating a looming storm — and finding wildflowers. Find it here.

Find all of our GetHiking! Trail Guides here.

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