In 2015, we launched our GetHiking! Classic Hikes program with GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes. Over the course of the year we hiked a dozen of North Carolina’s most notable areas: Shining Rock, Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains, Panthertown Valley, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Appalachian Trail, to name a few.
Temperatures in the upper 60s, sunny skies, summer vacation season in full bloom. All the makings for a miserable day atop Mount Mitchell in the summertime-popular Mount Mitchell State Park. Miserable, that is, if you stuck around the snack bar, the gift shop, the newly yellow-brick-trailed path to the mountaintop observation deck and the parking lot, where an endless stream of silence-piercing motorcycles slowly, loudly lit.
I’ve been spending a lot of time along the Blue Ridge Parkway of late, exploring the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. I’d be spending even more time if the Parkway facilities, specifically the campgrounds, were open. Which they soon will be.
The National Park Service has announced 2012 opening dates for their seasonal facilities along the Parkway. I’m finding them useful for trip planning, figured you might, too. Here are some key locations for the pedestrian explorer, when they open and some thoughts for how these locations might play into your plans. For locations, go here for a Parkway map.