Back in January I got to thinking about where I haven’t been in too long and thus, where I would love to explore this summer.
I didn’t have to think long: the mountain portion of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Now, I hike the MST nearly every day, since I can pick it up a couple blocks from my front door in Hillsborough. And while I never tire of this stretch, nor of the other 120 miles I hike with some frequency through the Triangle, there’s something about the MST’s nearly 350-mile run through the mountains that’s especially enchanting — and diverse, capturing both the rugged beauty of the Southern Appalachians and its moments of intimate calm. Here’s a look at three favorite sections, all along the Blue Ridge Parkway.read more
This recent spate of bitter cold, snow and ice can’t last forever. This is the South: It just can’t.
Before you know it, maybe within a week or so, you’ll be out on the trail and you’ll see a bright yellow daffodil poking through the turf beneath a stately oak, near a loosely arranged pile of rocks. A non-native ornamental favored by early homesteaders to get them through the last half of winter, a harbinger of spring and warmer weather. They will be followed shortly by trout lilies, spring beauties and the rush of spring abundance. You may not be thinking about sleeping in a tent now, but it won’t be long. And you’ll want to be prepared.read more
Editor’s note: This post originally ran at the start of last fall. We’ve tweaked it, and will continue to run a version of it at the start of every fall hiking season to help you avoid crowded trails in the most popular hiking season.
Officially, fall starts tomorrow, Sept. 21, officially at 3:21 p.m. EST. Appropriately, a rainy front is ushering in cold air about the same time that will drop temperatures about 15 degrees, into the low 70s initially. By the weekend, expect highs in the upper 70s, lows around 50.read more
Last week, we extolled the virtues of basecamp backpacking : that is, hiking in a short distance with your camping gear to establish a basecamp, then doing day hikes from there. You get the advantage of backcountry camping minus the burden of hauling 35 pounds with you wherever you go.read more