It was still on the murky side of sun-up when we gathered this morning for our weekly GetHiking! Friday Morning Hike. As we fine-tuned our clothing strategies for dealing with the cold — at 30 degrees, the coldest morning since April — we scanned the eastern sky for signs of the type of day ahead. Gradually, the rising sun revealed a mostly clear sky as it lit the autumn canopy above.
“I love the morning,” Lisa said.
“Me, too,” agreed Karen.
The good news? With the end of Daylight Saving Time this Sunday, we’ll get to love the mornings an hour earlier.
Sunday at 2 a.m., Eastern Standard Time kicks in. Traditionally, we bemoan the fact that we lose an hour of daylight in the afternoon. (Saturday, the sun will set at 6:15 p.m.; Sunday, it’s down at 5:14 p.m.)
This year, let’s instead celebrate that extra hour of morning sunlight. This morning, we had to wait until 7:41 a.m. for sunrise; Sunday, it will be light at 6:43 a.m. That means you can get in a nice adventure before your day begins. Even if it’s just a quick hour or half hour of hiking or poking around a local greenspace, there’s no better way to start your day.
Obviously, we think the best way to make that happen is on our GetHiking! Friday Morning hike series. And it just so happens that our next session, our Holiday Friday Hiker session, starts next Friday, Nov. 12. Our Friday morning hikes start at 7:30, end around 9 and cover about 3 miles. You get to experience that early morning sunlight, and it’s a great way to launch your Friday. We hike a different trail every week, so you’ll likely learn some new terrain. We take a leisurely pace, with a no-drop policy. You can learn more about our Friday morning hike series here.
(And if you like the idea of a weekly morning hike and would like more options for hiking through the busy holiday season, check out our GetHiking! Hike Through the Holidays series, which includes 16 hikes, including the Friday morning hikes, plus hikes on Sunday afternoons, Tuesday evenings and two Wednesdays around Christmas and New Years. Check out that series here.)
As for this weekend, here are three options:
- Guided Bird Walk, Sunday, 9 a.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. 9 a.m. seem too early to rise, especially on a Sunday? With the time change it will feel more like 10 a.m., and that’s a perfectly civil time to follow a ranger for two miles checking out the coast’s arriving winter migrants. Learn more here.
- Alder Trail Hike, Sunday, 10 a.m., Lake Norman State Park, Troutman. Likewise, the start time for this hike will seem downright decadent while allowing you to be wide awake as you walk the banks of Norwood and Hicks creeks learning about the local flora and fauna. Learn more here.
- History of Holden Mill, Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, Eno River State Park, Durham. Looking for a longer hike with some history? This 4.1-mile hike to the location of the old Holden Mill on the Eno River should be just the ticket. If you’ve hiked the Holden Mill Trail you’ve likely been curious about the stone wall that marks the old dam and spillway; now’s your chance to learn the story behind it. Learn more and sign up (it’s free, but space is limited) here.
Those are our thoughts on the weekend — and mornings —ahead. Make sure you GetOut! and enjoy.