We are in the cusp of a gorgeous weekend, at least here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. A cold front is moving through, dropping temperatures 20 degrees from the past several days. At least through Saturday, that means temperatures only in the low 60s under sunny skies.
Every Thursday until the world reopens, we’re going to share with YouTube videos of the outdoor world. Each week will have a different focus. This week’s: The places our GetBackpacking! program hopes to visit this year.
OK, so maybe we can’t hike some of the places we want. But somebody has, and odds are they’ve posted a video about it on YouTube. They may not be the real thing, but they do provide voyeuristic escape, a bit of humor (both intentional and otherwise), and they can inspire your planning for trips in the hopefully not-too-distant future. And the videos cover just about every trail you can imagine.
Now, the outdoor world begins to shrink.
A week ago, trails were open. The outdoors were seen as the last open sanctuary to escape The Virus. Then, over the weekend, many of the more popular trail venues drew crowds that made staying 6 or 10 feet apart from one another near impossible. Sunday evening, North Carolina announced that four of its State Parks were closing, two recreation areas were restricting access. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which had already closed certain areas, followed suit, announcing that the park was shutting down, trails included. The number of North Carolina State Parks that are completely closed has since grown to 15 (see the list below).
Sunday evening, North Carolina State Parks posted a notice that four parks — Crowders Mountain, Hanging Rock, Lake Waccamaw and Raven Rock — were closed as of sunset. By morning, that post was already outdated, with Morrow Mountains State Park joining the list.