Now’s typically the time we start thinking about goals for the year ahead. We all do it. By and large, it’s a good thing. By and large, because sometimes we get locked into a particular way of thinking, a way that doesn’t always reflect our true wishes and dreams.
Learn about the salt marsh on a paddle at the coast, watch the sun set on the weekend from the Art Loeb Trail, or discover a “new” gorge where the Piedmont and coastal plain meet.
The Bald Head Island Conservancy does an exemplary job of promoting the environment through public education. This weekend, for instance, there’s Birding BHI, Touch Tank Time and Reptile Roundup on Saturday, and Island Nature Tour and Kayaking the Creeks on Sunday. We’re especially intrigued by Kayaking the Creeks. Lead by a member of the Conservancy, you’ll head out in tandem kayaks to explore and learn “about the beauty and importance of the salt marsh.”
The pending changing of the seasonal guard is evident this weekend. At the coast we have a sweaty 5K that ends with a bracing dip in the brisk Atlantic Ocean; in the Piedmont, the Eno River Association’s weekly Winter Hike Series is drawing to a close; and in the mountains there’s the opportunity to hike in snow — in 50-degree temperatures.
Wilderness areas shouldn’t be the private domain of only the most intrepid swashbuckling types who have no compunction about pushing through where the trail disappears, about fording waist-deep streams, about scrambling through rhododendron hells ever-so-deserving of the name. They shouldn’t be their private playground and they needn’t be. Provided you know how to get in the back door.