Soon — really! — it will start cooling down and our trails will become more crowded. Not the typical crowds that we expect every fall. Rather, the typical fall crowds plus the legions of folks who used to watch college football on Saturdays, but, we’re pretty sure, won’t be this fall.
We just got back from a week-long trip and it was killer. We covered 73 miles on foot, averaging 10.4 miles per day. According to my Fitbit, we climbed 369 floors, or about 53 floors a day (for perspective, that’s just a few floors shy of the Bank of America Center in Charlotte). As outdoor adventures go, it was physically challenging: that New York City can really wear you out.
Fire, when it comes to the natural world, is often associated with loss — the loss of trees, of shrubs, of grasses, of animal life. But it also plays a key role in keeping the forest alive. This year, North Carolina is celebrating that role, proclaiming it the Year of Fire in its State Parks.
We’re taking some time the last two weeks of the year to get our head together, to regroup, to not have to think too much for a few days. So today, we bring you our GetHiking! year on the trail condensed down to 113 seconds.
These aren’t all the places we went, but they are a good cross-section: from the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, several state parks and a Triangle Land Conservancy property or two in the Piedmont, to our camping weekends in the mountains.
In our five-part Winter Wild monthly adventure series, we go off trail to explore some of the wildest places in the region. Our January hike will be to the Butner Game Lands, more than 40,000 acres of wetlands and bottomland woods on the north side of Falls Lake.