Tag Archives: Fall color

Piedmont: Fall escapes that escape the crowds

“I can’t believe we haven’t seen anyone,” Krista said midway into our 15-mile hike.
“I wonder what Umstead’s like right now?” Amy wondered. “Probably bumper-to-bumper people.”
Probably, considering: 1) It was the second weekend in October and the first true weekend of fall color in the Piedmont, 2) It was a Saturday afternoon, 3) There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, 4) The temperature was struggling to get out of the 60s.
In short, it was a perfect fall day. The kind of day where it occurs to everyone to go for a hike, and it occurs to everyone to go to the same places. To Umstead State Park in Raleigh, to Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain state parks in the Triad, to Crowders Mountain near Charlotte.
Need proof?
The Crowders Mountain Web site offers this warning front and center on its home page: “Expect parking delays on nice fall weekends.”
Which isn’t to say you should hide at home and experience fall through silde shows such as the one above. If you know where to go — like Amy and Krista did — you can experience the magnificence of fall in magnificent solitude. read more

What, no plans for the weekend? You do now

Chase a kite at the coast, follow fall color in the Piedmont, ride a unicycle in the mountains … North Carolina gives you all kinds of options this weekend.

Coast

One of the best workouts going is a day at the beach: Chasing kids into the water, getting chased out of the water by a rogue (waist-high) wave, building sand castle fortresses (upper body workout). Something about the beach just says “Move!” read more

Fall starting to light up the Piedmont

The understory (dogwood) is turning at Hemlock Bluffs, the canopy not yet.

Sunday, Marcy and I headed over to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary after roadside flashes of sourwood red and dogwood peach suggested the fall color show was just getting underway. Roadside trees — stressed by the heat of automotive exhaust — are often the first to show their chromatic hand. When they start to go, we grab the camera and head for woods. read more

Fall hikes without the fall crowds

OK, with fall peaking around us, you aren’t the only one thinking about taking a hike. People who in their entire lives have never thought about taking a hike are likely looking at the forecast — sunny and cool — and thinking, “Hmm, I should think about taking a hike.” And that means the usual suspects — the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains, Shining Rock — will be crawling with occasional hikers. read more