Since I answer the question differently every time it’s asked, the notion of a classic hike, obviously, is difficult to pin down. In essence, I define it as a hike that you could do 100 times, and every time will yield a unique experience. Some of that has to do with the trail itself. A lot has to do with the season. A lot, too, with the weather.
Cool, cloudy, chance of rain. Some people see that as a forecast for a Netflix weekend. We see it as a trail fix weekend.
Three weeks ago, we spent a cool, wet Sunday hiking 12 miles on the Tanawha Trail at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Perhaps a little wetter than we would have preferred, but one thing is for sure: for the 25 or so folks on the hike, it was one memorable day.
The forecast for this weekend isn’t quite as wet. It is, however, supposed to be cool, with mountain temperatures expected to stay in the 60s. A good weekend to kick off your fall hiking season.
Where might I kick it off? you inquire.
Here are five hikes we especially like on cool, wet days. Included are links where you can find more information on how to plan and execute your hike.
Come summer, with its 90/90 days (heat/humidity) the last thing on most of our minds is a long hike in the woods. Oceans of sweat, acres of trail-clogging cobwebs, no hydration pack big enough to sate your insatiable thirst. Very understandable, this hike aversion — if you don’t know where to go. For if you do, there are plenty of trails — from North Carolina’s steamy coast, to the stuffy Piedmont to the sun-drenched high country — ideal for summer exploring.