This weekend, we were able to conclude our Spring GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking class, with a graduation weekend at South Mountains State Park. Originally scheduled for the end of March, this pandemic-delayed trip was one we were especially interested in, as a way to gauge whether we might be able offer small-batch backpacking trips. In short, could we enforce physical distancing to the point we would feel safe moving ahead.
Stormy weather sticks around, for much of the region, though Saturday: Sunday, it’s low 70s and sunny. Perfect weather for getting outside.
But will everyone be thinking along the same lines?
Today, we direct you back to some of our strategies for avoiding the crowds that have caused some state parks in North Carolina to close their gates.
Every Thursday until the world reopens, we’re going to share with YouTube videos of the outdoor world. Each week will have a different focus. This week’s: The places our GetBackpacking! program hopes to visit this year.
OK, so maybe we can’t hike some of the places we want. But somebody has, and odds are they’ve posted a video about it on YouTube. They may not be the real thing, but they do provide voyeuristic escape, a bit of humor (both intentional and otherwise), and they can inspire your planning for trips in the hopefully not-too-distant future. And the videos cover just about every trail you can imagine.
February: such a great, yet under-appreciated, month to hike.
It’s still winter, and some of the best days of the season — the bluest of skies with bracing cold air — remain ahead. Yet it’s also a period of transition in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Yeah, it can be cold. But it’s also the month when temperatures begin warming enough to launch the earliest signs of spring: the spring peepers singing away in their vernal ponds, the trout lilies pushing through the leaf litter to add the first delicate splash of color to the stark winterscape.
For some places that we love to explore, if a leaf falls, you’ll find out about it. Linville Gorge, for instance. For years, we’ve had linvillegorge.net, which has been the go-to source for any kind of trip planning information, from when you need a camping permit to where you can camp, to the best option for a three-day trip (find all of that here, btw). For breaking news, closures, and what the gorge looks like right now, the Linville Gorge Facebook Group is at least one reason to stick with Facebook.