GetOut! 5 Adventures for the Weekend Ahead

There’s a pretty good looking weekend ahead, with a little rain possible Saturday, warmer temperatures on Sunday. Both days look good for getting out. 

Here are our 5 recommendations for the weekend.

Tanawha/Nuwati Wildflower Hike with a Park Ranger, Saturday, 2 p.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk. This hike allots plenty of time (3 hours) to cover about 3 miles in search of spring wildflowers. You’ll want that time, too, to learn about the diverse terrain this hike covers along the southeastern flank of Grandfather Mountain. The hike begins at the Boone Fork Parking Area off the Blue Ridge Parkway (MP 299.9) and is limited to 15 hikers. Learn more here (including how to register).

Canoe Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m., Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown. Jones Lake is one of a half million Carolina bays in the Southeast, curious oval depressions whose existence has yet to be explained. Most of those bays have long since filled in, most of the remaining water-filled lakes are small, often less than 500 feet long. Jones Lake, however, is about 8,000 feet long and covers 224 acres, providing lots of room for exploring on this ranger-led paddle. All equipment is provided, participation is limited to 11 people, the first 11 people to register by calling 910.588.4550. Learn more here.

Naturalist Day Hike 2022, Saturday, Low Water Bridge Preserve, Montgomery County. The Low Water Bridge Preserve is in the Uwharrie Mountains, on the Uwharrie River just west of Ophir. On this hike, you’ll walk about 3 miles, with the main attraction the various neotropical migrating birds — warblers, vireos, tanagers, waterthrush and more — you’ll see along the way.  Your odds of seeing, or at least hearing, them? Darn good, since the hike will be lead by folks who know how to call a bird. Learn more here.

Lake Johnson Park Nature Explorers, Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Lake Johnson Nature Park, Raleigh. You know what most guided hikes lack? The chance to be a kid again, to flip logs and see what’s under them, to dig into the leaves and soil and see what’s going on, to see what’s living in creeks and streams. That’s the beauty of the Lake Johnson Nature Explorers events, because you can do all that and more with naturalists who can tell you what’s what. Learn more and sign up here.

Blood Moon Night Hike, Sunday, 8 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. We love night hikes for several reasons. For starters, there’s the light: this hike starts about 5 minutes before official sunset, then continues into the gloaming, with diminishing light for the next 25 minutes or so. Walking through dusk lets you participate in the natural world’s shift change, as daytime critters make way for their nocturnal cousins. You’ll also enjoy cooling temperatures, which becomes increasingly important as we head into summer.  And, of course, there’s the night sky on a night hike; on this particular night you’ll get to hike under the Blood Moon, a full moon that earns its distinction by occurring during a total lunar eclipse, which causes the moon to take on “a copper or reddish appearance.” This hike covers a half mile. Learn more here.

Again, a good weekend to GetOut! And explore.

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Night hike, anyone?

If Sunday evening’s Blood Moon hike tweaks your interest in evening hiking, then check out our upcoming GetHiking! Wednesday Night Hikes series, which begins Wednesday, May 18, and runs for 10 weeks. The hikes start at 6:30 p.m. and cover about 3 miles, wrapping up by 8. Apres hike frozen concoctions follow. Learn more and sign up to join us here.

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