GetOut! This weekend: Like last weekend, but different

Weatherwise, this weekend appears to be a carbon copy of last weekend. Only in reverse.

Last weekend, the snow and ice hit on Sunday; this weekend it’s on Saturday (starting late Thursday, actually). And last weekend, the farther west you went — into the western Piedmont and mountains — the more winter-like it became. This weekend, it gets more wintery toward the coast. 

With the latest forecast in mind — as of Thursday morning — we offer these thoughts on weekend fun. (Keep in mind that the American and European models were still engaged in a tug of war, so this could change by the time it hits the press.) 


A quick thought for Saturday’s planned N.C. State Parks programs: Iffy: the Bear Island Eco-Hike at Hammock’s Beach, the Biological Wonderland Hike at Carolina Beach, the Fort Tours at Fort Macon. Probably: Pining for the Pines at Lake James, What’s a Ranger at Stone Mountain.


For Sunday in the Probably category: Hiking Essentials, Unpacking the Daypack at Pilot Mountain; New Year of Prescribed Burning at Stone Mountain. Iffy: Fort Tours at Fort Macon, Looking for Longleaf at Hammocks Beach. Hard-to-Say: Rockefeller House Tour at Carvers Creek, Winter Bird Walk at Weymouth Woods.

Learn more about these state park programs here.

DIY hike

A possible scenario for the weekend: You get 1 to 3 inches of snow Friday, Saturday dawns mostly sunny but cold. The roads will likely be icy, likely for much of the day. You’re itchin’ to take a hike, but should you? Some quick thoughts:

  • Hike the ‘hood. Even just getting out for a neighborhood walk is delightful after a snowstorm. 
  • Dress accordingly. A good layer of clothing, gloves and a hat, your grippiest shoes.
  • Open or closed? If the roads aren’t too bad, you might consider a hike nearby. Before heading out, check to make sure your venue of choice is open. For N.C. State Parks, for instance, your best bet is to check their Facebook page.
  • Check the roads. Even if your hiking destination is a mile away, check first to make sure the roads are passable. 
  • Use trekking poles! They’re especially good for staying upright on snowy, icy trail.Your best spot for one-stop road conditions in North Carolina is
  • Go short. Enjoy your snow hike, savor your snow hike by going short. Hiking in snow is more taxing, you’ll tire more quickly, so go short. There are lots of good short hike options around.
  • Take water. Always.
  • Take snacks. You burn more calories in the cold; be prepared.
  • Check the weather. Before heading out, check the weather — again. This storm has been all over the place and conditions are always subject to change. Check the radar in particular to make sure no pink or purple masses are headed your way.

There’s more, but those are the basics. Here’s hoping for a safe, wintry weekend we can GetOut! and enjoy. 

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Short hikes 

There are 5 in the Triangle we especially like: Seven Mile Creek Nature Preserve, Orange County; Jordan Lake State Educational Forest, Chapel Hill; Bobbit Hole and Cole Mill Trail loop, Eno River State Park, Durham; Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Gate 25, Durham; Mountains-to-Sea Trail: James M. Johnston Preserve, Hillsborough. Find out why and how you can hike them in our GetHiking! 5 Great Short Hikes in the Triangle guide, here.

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