Embrace the joy of summer hiking with our 12-week series of Sunday morning hikes. We avoid the heat by getting on the trail at 9 a.m. and getting off the trail by 11 a.m., leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day — except on two occasions. In addition to 10 hikes around the Triangle, this series includes a hike at Hanging Rock State Park and a hike at Raven Rock State Park, both of which include lunch and drinks, and time in the water.
What: A weekly Sunday hike series consisting of hikes of 3- to 5-miles designed to keep you hiking throughout the summer.
When: Sundays beginning June 6 and ending August 22. All hikes begin at 9 a.m.
The hikes: The hikes are 3-5 miles length. Two hikes — at Hanging Rock and Raven Rock — will be longer and will include the option for lunch; allow at least four hours for these events.
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); GetHiking! Tips for Summer Hiking.
Apres hike: Popsicles™ (or a comparably refreshing frozen concoction) at hike’s end.
Cost: $125 for individuals, $225 for couples and families.
Where we hike
June 6 — White Pines Nature Preserve, Pittsboro. 4.5 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.
June 13 — Duke Forest, Korstian Division, Gate 25, Durham. 3.8 miles. More than three miles is on single track through a mature hardwood forest and along a stretch of New Hope Creek that’s especially frisky after a good rain.
June 20 — Horton Grove Nature Preserve, northern Durham County. 4 miles. We piece together four trails for a 4-mile hike highlighting the best of Horton Grove’s meadows, coves, bottomland woods and beech groves.
June 27 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake, Day-hike Section T, Durham. 5 miles. We hike through a bottomland forest, for the most part, on this hike, then climb a bluff for a view of the Eno River below.
July 4 — Eno River State Park, Durham. 4.2 miles. We’ll spend half our time along the Eno, half on the ridge above on this figure-8 loop of the Buckquarter Creek/Holden Mill Trails.
July 11 — Loblolly/Reedy Creek loop, Umstead State Park, Raleigh. 4.2 miles. The first half of this hike is on single track trail running through intimate Piedmont woods; the second half is on bike & bridle trail, including passage along Reedy Creek Lake.
July 18 — Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. 4.2 miles, 1 mile. The first of two extended hikes. We’ll summit Wolf Rock, House Rock and Cook’s Wall in the morning, have lunch, then hike another mile or so to check out some waterfalls.
July 25 — Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake, Day-hike Section P, Durham. 5 miles, with 3.6-mile option. A favorite, we hike east on the MST from the Hickory Hill Boat Ramp with frequent encounters with the lake. Popular for that reason — and because it’s relatively flat.
Aug. 1 — Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Chapel Hill. 3.2 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.
Aug. 8 — Little River Regional Park, Orange/Durham counties. 4.5 miles. A mix of ridgeline and creek/river hiking on this infrequently hiked network of trails.
Aug. 15 — Raven Rock State Park, Lillington. 4 miles (with another 4-mile option). We’ll hike the 4-mile West Loop at the Avents Creek Access, on the north side of the Cape Fear River, stopping at Jumping Fish Falls to enjoy the water. For those interested, we will tack on the East Loop, another 4 miles.
Aug. 22 — Umstead State Park, Raleigh. 4.4 miles. We’ll take the abbreviated portion of the 7-mile Sycamore Trail, starting at the bike & bridle trailhead and concentrating on the trail along mountain-like Sycamore Creek.