I was walking the Matrimony Creek Greenway in Eden yesterday, lost in thought. Not deep thought, just the kind that never bubbles to the surface unless you’re on the trail.
There was a break in the week-long rain, but it remained gray and cold. Certainly not weather to entertain thoughts of spring. But suddenly I was, thanks to one of the sweetest sounds nature conjures — the ascending croak of a spring peeper.read more
Winter hikes in the mountains intimidate us. Not so much the hiking itself — who doesn’t love tromping through a forest carpeted with snow? Rather, it’s simply getting to the trailhead. The prospect of icy mountain roads, of road closures, of other drivers who don’t know how to drive on icy roads. Why run the risk?read more
Weekend trail festivals — a weekend devoted to all things trails — are great fun. Trouble is, what trail festivals there are in the area — AT Trail Days in Damascus, Va.; NC Trail Days in Elkin — are few and far between.
Until this year.
This year, as part of North Carolina’s observance of Year of the Trail, among the hundreds of Year of the Trail events are 11 weekend trail festivals. Most will follow this format:read more
The best thing about hiking on a cold winter’s day? You can hike forever.
For starters, the cold itself is good incentive to keep moving. And the more you move down the trail the more you realize what a magical time of year this is in the woods. Winter’s sunlight knifes bright through a leafless canopy, illuminating a forest floor littered with coppery leaves. Somehow, those gray tree trunks manage to evoke a sparkle. Winter’s dry air cranks up the volume the season’s quiet. It’s an experience you don’t want prematurely ended on a 3-mile trail.read more
This week, it’s all about Sunday, New Year’s Day, and First Day Hikes — and First Day Outings. The latter First, first.
On Sunday in North Carolina we enter Year of the Trail, as deemed by the State Legislature. All year, we will celebrate trails of every stripe: natural surface, paved surface, equestrian, hiker, mountain biker, trails of blue. Even our cultural trails. We’ll get into all this in January, but for now we focus on Sunday. And first, those Outings.read more