GetOut! Winter and Spring, in the same weekend

Welcome to the last weekend of winter — and the first weekend of spring! 

Curiously, the winter end of the weekend, Saturday, has more of a springlike forecast (temperatures in the mid 70s, chance of rain), while Sunday is looking more late winter, with a high around 60 under crisp skies. That said, here’s a bit of what’s going on:

  • Spring Paddle in the Millpond, Saturday, 9 a.m., Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville. You know the weather is warming when the parks start doing paddle trips. This one is a tour of the 760-acre millpond, weaving in and out of bald cypress and tupelo. BYOB, or rent a canoe for $10. Registration is limited to 10; sign up at 252.357.1191. Learn more here. 
  • Be on the lookout for Dutchman’s breeches this weekend

    Bear Island Camping, Saturday, 2 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. People are always curious about camping on Bear Island, the 3-mile barrier island that fronts Hammocks Beach State Park. With 14 designated campsites, most of them beachfront, it’s quite alluring. But it is on a barrier island, so … how exactly do you make camping happen? All will be answered in this 1-hour presentation at the Visitor Center. And while you’re at the park, build in some time to hike the 2-mile trail network near the VC. Learn more here.

  • Spring Hike, Sunday, 2 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. Winter is the best time to hike at Weymouth Woods, a pine savannah that heats up once spring kicks into full gear. So the timing for this hike — when spring isn’t even a full day old — is especially good. Plan to hike a mile and a half. Learn more here.
  • Sunday Wildflower Hike: Flat River, Sunday, 2 p.m., Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment, Durham. This second in the Eno River Association’s Spring Hike Series explores off trail along the Flat River in the Butner Game Lands, with particular emphasis on Dutchman’s breeches and false rue-anemone. Expect to hike about 2 miles, expect to finish between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Learn more and register here.
  • Spring into Wildflowers @ Johnston Mill, Saturday, 11 a.m., Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Chapel Hill. Another prime opportunity for wildflower spotting, this one with the Triangle Land Conservancy at its preserve north of Chapel Hill. They’ll be looking for blood root, trout lilies, little heart leaf and trillium on this hike. Free, but pre-registration is required, by going here.

That’s the gist of what’s going on this weekend, the last weekend of winter, the first weekend of spring.

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Hikes made for this weekend

Three suggestions from our GetHiking! hiking guide library that are especially relevant for this weekend:

  • One of the daffodil hikes

    5 Great Hikes for Beginning Hikers. Enticed by the onset of spring to take a hike, but either new to the sport or you haven’t been out in a while? These 5 hikes, in the Triangle and Triad, are less than 3 miles in length, scenic and beginner friendly. Check it out here.

  • 3 Daffodil Hikes. Daffodils are the first responders of spring. They also grow in spots friendly to wildflowers and usually are found at homesteads from long ago. You’re dang near guaranteed to see daffodils — and wildflowers native to the region — on these hikes. Check it out here.
  • 3 Hikes for After a Good Rain. Nothing like a good rain to turn a placid Piedmont creek into a frisky, frothy, flow of mountain-like enthusiasm. The creeks associated with these three hikes come alive for several days after a good rain. Check it out here.

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