Welcome to our Spring Hike Series, a great way for active hikers to ramp up their hiking going into summer, and for newcomers to start hiking and launch a more active lifestyle. Our Spring Hike Series visits 9 trails in the Triangle and one slightly beyond to sample some of the best hiking around.
What: 10 Sunday hikes on trails throughout the Triangle (and one slightly beyond).
The hikes: Our hikes are typically 5 or 6 miles and generally last a couple of hours, sometimes a little longer. Our last hike in the series is a little longer, 6.7 miles, and will take closer to 3 hours.
When: Sundays beginning March 20 and ending May 22. We have two sessions, one at 10 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. The last hike in the series, in the Birkhead Wilderness, is combined and starts at 1 p.m.
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).
Cost: $165 for individuals, $295 for couples and families.
Where we hike
March 20 — White Pines Nature Preserve, Pittsboro. About 5 miles. The oldest preserve of the Triangle Land Conservancy, 275-acre White Pines offers mountain and coastal escape alike at the confluence of the Rocky and Deep rivers. New hike
March 27 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Day-hike Section N, Durham. 6 miles. You get the best of MST hiking along Falls Lake — views of the lake, small creeks, fallow fields — with few fellow hikers on this out-and-back. New hike
April 3 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Pennys Bend, Durham. 6 miles. Penny’s Bend offers prime spring wildflower viewing, including some ephemerals not common in the region. Two upland diversions add variety to a hike largely along the Eno River.
April 10 — Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Lands, Flat River Access, Bahama. 5 miles. North Carolina’s half-million acres of game lands offer adventure largely untouched by hikers. We’ll explore waterfowl impoundments and edge forest on this hike. New hike
April 17 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Day-hike Section C, Raleigh. 6 miles. This hike offers a mix of hiking along the lake and past a couple of coves, plus an upland stretch through maturing hardwoods and pine that avoids the lake for a long stretch. New hike
April 24 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Day-hike Section M, Durham. 6 miles. From the MST’s Rollingview Access we hike west through mature woods, over a waterfall, along the lake, and through some surprisingly hilly terrain.
May 1 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Day-hike Section S, Durham. 6 miles. Somehow, this stretch is both among the flattest and most diverse portions of the MST along Falls Lake, with fields, swamp, brief views of the lake, encounters with the pre-lake past.
May 8 — Duke Forest from Hollow Rock Nature Park, Durham. 5 miles. This route passes some of the best stretches of New Hope Creek through Durham, including several cascades. We also summit Pine Mountain! New hike
May 15 — Horton Grove Nature Preserve, northern Durham County. 6.5 miles. From the preserve’s secondary trailhead at the Big White Barn we do a grand loop of this 708-acre preserve, taking in a pine savannah, expansive beech grove and more.
May 22 — Birkhead Mountain Wilderness, Ashboro. 6.7 miles. We conclude the session with a visit to this wilderness area on the northern tip of the Uwharrie National Forest, where we’ll reach an elevation of more than 900 feet and visit gold mines from the 1800s. New hike