Tag Archives: Grandfather Mountain

GetOut! Guided Hikes from the Mountains to the Sea

Some of our favorite North Carolina State Park hikes are this weekend, a weekend that will be on the cool side throughout the state. We start with two coastal favorites:

Carnivorous Plant Hike, Saturday, 10 a.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. The perfect hike for someone you’d like to get more involved in the outdoors. The trail, the Flytrap Trail, is short, just a half mile. It’s flat and easy to navigate (it’s wheelchair accessible), and it features a natural wonder, the carnivorous plants — including the Venus flytrap — that are unique to the region. A ranger leads the way and shares the stories of these curious plants. Masks are required, space is limited: reserve a spot by calling 910.458.8206. More info here. read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

A person could get used to this weather, no? Temperatures in the 70s, sunny skies, crisp, dry air … . Just the incentive for getting out in the wild. We have some thoughts on the subject of where you might explore this weekend — and suggestions for where you can find more options. Just be sure to get out and enjoy! read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

It’s been cool most of the week throughout our blogging area, and it will be cool again at least on Saturday, making this the perfect summer weekend to get in a hike.

Mount Jefferson Downhill Skateboarding Event, Saturday and Sunday, starts at 9 a.m. both days, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. Scratching your head, are you? Here’s the deal: The 1.6-mile road to the summit of 4,683-foot Mount Jefferson will be closed to vehicles both days to accommodate the mountain’s annual downhill skateboard race. Yup, youngsters on skateboards — more than 100 of ‘em — will skateboard down the mountain, dropping more than 700 vertical feet along the way. However, there will be shuttle service to the top of the mountain: park at the Lowe’s in West Jefferson and take a shuttle to the top, where you can hike the park’s 5 miles of trail. And you can check out the race as well. (FYI, one of the sponsors for the race, the Ian Tilmann Foundation, will be giving helmets to the first 100 kids who sign a pledge to wear a helmet while skateboarding.) Learn more about the race here and hiking at Mount Jefferson here. read more

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Yeah, there’s a little rain in the forecast for the weekend. However: 

  1. It’s a forecast, which is essentially an educated guess, which is subject to not being accurate;
  2. There do appear to be some less wet spots in the forecast; and,
  3. Why should that keep us from having a little fun at least planning for the weekend?

That said, here three ideas for getting out and exploring:

B.W. Wells Heritage Day, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest. There’s a cool area of Falls Lake State Recreation Area on the east side of the lake that few people know about: the B.W. Wells area. It’s where B.W. Wells, a botany professor at N.C. State and one of the state’s foremost early ecologists lived and peppered his land with a variety of plant life. The area is usually closed, but is open for touring on Heritage Day. Learn more about B.W. Wells here, learn more about B.W. Wells Heritage Day here. read more

This weekend: Polar Plunge, History Hike, Nature Hike

A previous Plunge

Is this the weekend you take your first dip of 2017 in the Atlantic? Perhaps you’re more interested in a hike into history. Or maybe it’s when you take a class and learn not to bark up the wrong tree (so to speak).


Did you miss the chance to jump into an icy pool — the classic polar plunge — on New Year’s Day? Do you feel your year isn’t off until an official start until you’ve had the wake-up call that only baptism in 55-degree water can confer?

If so, head to Kure Beach Saturday for their 11th Run-N-Plunge at the Kure Beach Pier. Live music by the Prime Time Band, silent auction, costume contest, art, food, and more. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics New Hanover County. And to warm up, there’s also a 5K and 1-mile fun walk. (And yes, the temperature of the Atlantic at Kure Beach is currently 55 degrees.)

Logistics: 11th Annual Polar Plunge, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m., Kure Beach Pier. More info and to register, here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny with a high of 60 at plunge time.

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Looking ahead: BNP Trail Jam (3.5-mile, 9-mile and 18-mile races), Saturday, Feb. 18, Brunswick Nature Park, Wilmington. More info here.


Like a little history on your hikes? Then join the Eno River Association this Sunday on its weekly Winter Hike Series. Each week, the hike visits a separate section of the Eno River Valley: this week, it’s the Pump Station Area, home to Durham’s first public drinking water source. Much of the brick structure remains, which makes for some great exploring. Adds the ERA: “Portions of the hike will be off-trail, some sections may be steep, muddy, or on rough terrain. you may want a walking stick, and sturdy shoes are a must.”

The hike will cover about 1.5 miles and last two hours.

Logistics: Eno River Association Winter Hike Series: Pump Station Trail, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m., Eno River State Park, Pump Station Access off Rivermont Road. Learn more here.

Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 78!

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Looking ahead: Polar Plunge Splash-n-Dash, Saturday, Feb. 18, Randolph-Asheboro YMCA, Asheboro. More info here.


Can’t tell an oak from an ironwood in winter. Leaves do make a difference, but so do bark, limb, bud and branching pattern. Learn to read the more subtle signs that identify our trees on a Winter Tree ID Hike Sunday at 1 p.m. At Grandfather Mountain State Park. Specifically, the hike will cover the lower reaches of Grandfather Mountain, departing from the Profile Trail parking lot and stick to the lower reaches of the mountain.

The hike will cover 2 miles and last about two hours.

Logistics: Winter Tree ID Hike, Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 p.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 61, chance of rain.

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Looking ahead: National Trails Day Hike to Mt. Craig, Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m., Mount Mitchell State Park. More info here.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below. 

Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below. 


Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of coastal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times read more