GetOut! There’s so much to enjoy about fall

According to the forecast, fall looks like it finally arrives late Saturday, with a wet cold front. Come Sunday, though, you’ll need the fleece: the temperature should be in the low 40s, rising only into the low 60s. Just what we’ve been waiting for. 

Looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer for fall color, in the heart of the Piedmont, at least. At Thursday’s Lunch With GetHiking!, Pilot Mountain State Park Ranger Maggie Miller told our gathering that while there is some color at higher elevations, we’ll have to wait until the first week of November before it’s prominent in the Piedmont. Don’t blink, though: she says color here should peak the second week of the month.

What you can be on the lookout for, though, are:

Monarch butterflies, which are beginning their migration to Mexico, and;

Hawks, also beginning to head south.

And where can you watch the latter? Read on.

Swoop In — Fall Hawk Watch, Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head. “Learn about the international hawk count project we are participating in.  Maybe you will get to see the world’s fastest animal rocket across the dunes, the peregrine falcon.” Learn more here.

As for guided hikes, State Parks is offering two this weekend:

Intro to Hiking, Saturday, 3 p.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. Join a Park Ranger for a short hike along the Grassy Ridge Trail. “We will go over the basics of hiking and ways to get comfortable with navigating a trail at Pilot Mountain and the NC State Park system.” Learn more here.

Old Growth Hike, Sunday, 2 p.m., Weymouth Woods State Park, Southern Pines. Hike for a mile through the Boyd Round Timer Tract, through an old growth forest of longleaf pine (including a stop by the world’s oldest known living longleaf pine!). Learn more here.

So what else did Ranger Miller tell us at lunch? You’ll have to catch the rerun, here, to find out.

Fall arrives this weekend! GetOut! And enjoy.

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