The following piece first appeared in 2015, following author Kathryn Aalto’s appearance at Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books to promote her then-new book, “The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh.” Aalto reflected on the joy’s of walking-at-will in her new home of England, about how little is off-limits in a country that grants a legal right to roam. Her observations and wanderings seem especially pertinent in fall, a time when all we want to do is roam and take in this season of color.
The following is a version of a piece we run every year at this time, a time when our spirits are buoyed by day by cloudless skies and cooling temperatures, but bummed when those days of sun end earlier and earlier.
Most of us don’t expect the day — the daylight part, that is — to end so soon until the demise of Daylight Saving Time, which is Nov. 6 this year. So when we walk out the door on Oct. 6 expecting to get in a hike and discover a setting sun that will be completely set by 6:52, we’re taken aback. And a bit sad.
The following first appeared at the start of Fall 2019. It appears again today, updated and tweaked, but relevant as ever as we head into the Fall 2022 hiking season.
From an astronomical standpoint, fall doesn’t begin until around 9 p.m. on September 22. That would be the autumnal equinox, that magical day when we have as many hours of daylight as dark.
Fall is just around the corner and you can’t wait to resume a vigorous hiking schedule.
But where to go first? A tough decision: You want to hit all your favorites first.
Alas, because you can’t be in two or more places at once, you need to plan your hikes accordingly by taking into account the best time to take each hike. You still may not be able to hit all your favorites this fall, but with smart scheduling you can hit a goodly number of them.
Maybe, in the course of human kind, there’s been a better time to be out in the wild. But we can’t imagine how or when.
In case you missed the weekend, here’s a look at how ours went: specifically, our Sunday GetHiking! hike at Medoc Mountain State Park. And when you’re done kicking yourself for not taking advantage of this incredible, vow not to let it happen again. In fact, vow to not let it happen despite the fact we are heading into the busy holiday season. Because really, there’s no reason not to get out, especially since we’ve put together a holiday hiking package that includes 16 hikes in November and December on various days (and nights of the week): Sunday afternoon, Tuesday night, Friday morning — even a couple of Wednesdays at the end of December. You’ve got a free minute? We’ve likely got a hike planned.