If you checked in with us Wednesday — “Coastal Trails Beckon for Winter Hiking” — you know that as the temperatures drop our interest in exploring the coast and coastal plain rises. With that in mind, some thoughts on this weekend.
Soundside Nature Trail Hike, Saturday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head. Think of Jockey’s Ridge and you immediately think of the shifting dunes that can reach up to 60 feet above the level of the sea, which is a near stone’s throw from the park. But Jockey’s Ridge has intriguing backside that explores a maritime shrub thicket along Roanoke Sound. This is a 1-mile hike. Learn more here.
Birding 101, Saturday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m., Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach. One of the joys of the coast in winter is the bird population, especially the overwintering birds that start to arrive this time of year from Canada. Come learn about these visitors, where they come from, why they like it here and more. Free, but preregistration is required, by calling 910.458-5798. Learn more here.
Biological Wonderland Hike, Saturday, Nov. 13, 10 a.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. Learn about the various habitats in the park in this hour-long program on the Flytrap Trail. Space is limited; call 910.458.8206 to reserve a spot. Learn more here.
Paint Hill Discovery Hike, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. This 1.5-mile hike eschews the crowds at park’s main tract by exploring the Paint Hill Tract, “a unique hilltop longleaf pine forest with deep valleys and carpets of creeping blueberry.” For more information, including meeting place, go here.
You can learn more about Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach in Wednesday’s post, and for planning purposes, here are three events at the coast that we have planned:
- GetHiking! New Year’s on the Weetock Trail, Sunday, Jan. 2, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Technically, it’s the day after New Year’s Day, but a true first-of-the-year adventure all the same. Read the trail description above, then go here to learn more and to sign up.
- GetBackpacking! Winter Series: Neusiok Trail, Friday, January 14 to Sunday, January 16. This 2-night, 22-mile trip is the ideal way to start fulfilling your 2022 backpacking goals. The flat course make these early season miles doable. Learn more and sign up here.
- GetHiking! Winter Weekend Escape to Jones Lake, Friday, Jan. 28 to Sunday, Jan. 30. Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown. Two days of hiking and two nights of stargazing in minimally light-polluted skies of the coastal plain. Learn more and sign up here.
Weatherwise, it’s looking like a good weekend for a visit Down East, with sunny skies and daytime temperatures around 70 on Saturday, about 10 degrees cooler Sunday.
Whatever you do this weekend, GetOut! And enjoy!