Tag Archives: BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Hike NC: Your gateway to a healthy life on the trail

Happy hikers from our first Hike NC weekend, at Haw River State Park
Happy hikers from our first Hike NC weekend, at Haw River State Park

Since launching the GetHiking! program in 2013, I’ve learned one key thing: being on the trail makes us better. It makes us better physically, emotionally and spiritually. Even on a hike where the weather turned vile, I’ve never had a hiker say, “That sucked. I’ll never do that again.” Granted, it may be a day or so before a soaked hiker comes around, but inevitably they emerge with a positive take on the experience and, more importantly, they return to hike again. Considering the main target of GetHiking! has been new hikers, that says a lot.
While GetHiking! has grown significantly since that first chapter opened in the Triangle — we now have more than 6,000 members in North Carolina (Charlotte, Greenville, the Triad and Triangle) and Virginia (Charlottesville and Virginia Beach), I’m always looking for ways to reach new hikers. So when BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina approached me in August expressing interest in a statewide hiking program aimed at cultivating a new class of hikers, I jumped. In part, that was through a matter of loyalty: when I left The News & Observer in 2009, where I’d spent most of the 17 previous years writing about health, fitness and outdoor adventure, BCBSNC quickly moved in to sponsor the blog I had in mind (the one you’re reading). But truly, the opportunity to tap into their vast network of customers — they had nearly 3.9 million members in 2015 — was a proselytizing opportunity too rich to pass up.
In the ensuing month and a half, we’ve partnered with N.C. State Parks, Friends of State Parks, N.C. Recreation & Park Association, Great Outdoor Provision Co. and others to create Hike NC, an ambitious statewide hiking program consisting of more than 60 guided hikes. The program began this past weekend (with hikes at Fort Fisher, Haw River and Jones Lake state parks) and revs up with eight hikes this weekend, Matthew permitting.
Why should you consider signing up for Hike NC? Glad you asked. read more

This weekend: Go Hike NC

Jones Lake
Jones Lake

Highs in the low 80s, sunny skies. Sounds like a great weekend for a hike, no? And as luck would have it, this weekend is the kick off for Hike NC, a statewide hiking initiative by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, North Carolina State Parks, GetGoingNC and others. We’ll talk more about Hike NC in the coming days, but in a nutshell, it’s an effort to expose more North Carolinians to their state’s remarkable hiking resource, a resource they can frequently find right in their own backyard. We’ve got more than 60 hikes scheduled statewide over the next two months; today, we highlight the three that launch the program this weekend. read more

90 Second Escape: Scenes from a hike: A Prelude

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb. read more

Pack light for a short hike

The bridge connecting Wake Forest's Smith Creek Greenway with Raleigh's Neuse River Trail.
The bridge connecting Wake Forest’s Smith Creek Greenway with Raleigh’s Neuse River Trail.

One reason you take a short hike: you don’t have time for a long one, which is especially true as we enter the hectic holiday season.

If you don’t have time for a long hike, you certainly don’t have time to deliberate over packing. For a short hike — an hour or less — you don’t need a big pack, anyway. Pass on the extra socks; you can live with cold or damp feet for 15 minutes. No need for a litany of layers; even if the temperature does drop, you can weather the difference for a few minutes. A big lunch? Eat when you get off the trail. read more

Last call for fall, weekend winter advisory


Some quick notes for the weekend:

Saturday, will be cool (50s) and rainy in the Piedmont. If you’ve got stuff you need to get done (yardwork excluded), this would be the day to get it done because —

Sunday will be dry, sunny and cool (50s) in the Piedmont. Sunday could also be your last chance to catch good fall color in the region. Wondering where to go? read more