It’s always been a goal to hike the trails less traveled. It’s a goal we’ve embraced with extra gusto over the past two years.
Quick recap: hiking was pretty popular prior to March 2020, it became the go-to source of not only outdoor recreation, but recreation of any kind after March 2020, it being deemed the only safe form of recreation in the face of a global pandemic. While hiking no longer bears that mantel, scads of folks who discovered the joy of hiking over the past two years aren’t going away. And the beginning of spring is when you really begin to notice the increased number of hikers on the the trail.read more
Don’t you love it when it rains during the week and the sun comes out for the weekend? The remnants of Sally leave the state Friday afternoon, clearing the way for cool temperatures — highs only in the mid-60s, overnight lows in the upper 40s — and sunny skies. It’s a weekend when you’ll definitely want to be outside. Trouble is, so will everyone else.read more
Labor Day weekend arrived with morning temperatures in the low 50s rising only into the upper 70s, making for the perfect kickoff of fall. That kickoff was reflected by the number of folks who flocked to our state parks, causing many of them to begin restricting access before 11 a.m.read more
Last week was a bit of a disaster on the trails of North Carolina. An ironic perfect storm of great weather and minimal entertainment options in these stay-at-home (soon-to-be safer-at-home) times meant hordes of hikers inhabiting our trails, especially those in our state parks. As we reported Wednesday, Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, Eno River, Stone Mountain and Raven Rock all had to close their gates Saturday morning because they had reached capacity. Hanging Rock reported 1,000 more visitors than it had ever recorded.read more
It started two weeks ago with a serenade by spring peepers in a pond at Horton Grove Nature Preserve. It was reinforced a day later by the sudden appearance of perky yellow daffodils near an old homestead along the Eno River. Then, last Friday, on a hike through bottomland forest at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough, I got the sign I’d been waiting for: a trout lily unfurling its delicate yellow and maroon petals.read more