It’s been a long, cold, rainy winter — that on top of a very long year. But we’ve rounded the corner and perhaps never before has the coming of spring been so welcome. Warmer days, increasing sunlight, more incentive than ever before to get out. Our Spring 2021 Evening Ephemeral Hike Series aims to celebrate the season of renewal with 8 evening hikes, all on Tuesdays, in the months of March and April. Our focus: watching the world come back to life, with special attention to spring wildflowers. If you’ve been cooped up all winter and need to get your hiking legs under you, worry not: our hikes take a mellow pace — we lead from the rear, so the last hiker is never alone — and cover no more than 4 miles. The details:
What: 8 Tuesday evening hikes on trails in the Triangle.
The hikes: Our hikes are typically around 3 miles and generally last an hour and a half (sometimes a tad longer).
When: Tuesday evenings beginning March 31 and endingMay 18. Our hikes start at 6:30 p.m. and end around 8 p.m. Some hikes, especially the earlier ones, may end in the dark; we will provide headlamps for those hikes.
Includes: Weekly eguide for each hike, including a map, route description, overview of the hike and key details (including how to get to the trailhead).
Your safety: We observe social distancing protocols, including the wearing of masks when we gather at the trailhead and keeping a minimum six-foot buffer with other hikers.
Cost: $75 for individuals, $125 for couples and families
Where we hike
March 23 — Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Chapel Hill. 3 miles. This hike has a little of everything: passage along the mountain-like New Hope Creek, through high meadows, atop a beech bluff and through mature woods.
March 30 — Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. 3 miles. Bring your appetite on this hike: we start at Hillsborough BBQ and take the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Occoneechee, where our loop hike will include a stop at the overlook.
April 6 — Buckquarter/Ridge/Shakori trails, Eno River State Park, Durham. 3.5 miles. We’ll catch the Eno River in late afternoon light, then head inland on some of the least-visited trail in the park.
April 20 — Seven Mile Creek Nature Preserve, Hillsborough. 3 miles. This little-known preserve catches an abundance of late-day light thanks to a forest nearly devoid of understory. If the water’s low, we’ll cross Seven-Mile Creek and hike a ridge to the end of the preserve.
April 27 — Brumley Forest North Nature Preserve, Hillsborough. 3 miles. We use all five trails to create a diverse loop that passes three farm ponds, two meadows and has numerous encounters with Stony Creek.
May 4 — Sal’s Branch Trail, Umstead State Park, Raleigh. 2.8 miles. We start the season mellow, on this gently rolling loop trail that begins and ends at the park Visitor Center.
May 18 — Cox Mountain Trail, Eno River State Park, Durham. 3.75 miles. With Daylight Saving Time having kicked in, we start in late afternoon light (sunset is at 7:23 p.m.) and finish at last light.