Fall is prime backpacking season in the Southeast. Warm days, cool nights, cloudless skies and lots of autumnal color make this the season to explore the backcountry — and spend the night in the most remote locations. If you’re a backpacker with some experience, we’ve got several trips for you this fall. And if you’re not a backpacker but want to be, we’ve got you covered as well.
With another steamy summer weekend coming up, rather than think about how to deal with the heat, why not think about how to embrace it instead? A couple thoughts on the subject, both of which involve water.
On the water
North Carolina State Parks offers two ways to beat the heat this weekend on the water.
Who’s ready for the fall hiking season to begin?
We thought so. So are we. In fact, we can’t recall ever being so ready to get into the mountains and escape. To escape to a mountain top, to escape into an old growth forest, to spend our time between escapes along a calming mountain stream.
Some workweeks last longer than others. We’re guessing this will be a long one, even though for us it’s only four days. Friday, we’re turning on the “out of office” reply and slipping out the door for a wild weekend in Wilson Creek.
Wilson Creek, Linville Gorge’s little brother. It may not have the gaping chasm of its better-known neighbor, but it does have numerous smaller ones that offer intimate, less crowded and more accessible (somewhat) access to the bracing waters that drain from Grandfather Mountain’s southeast flank. Cascades and their resulting pools, where relief from an onslaught of 90-degree summer heat is found in so many spots, not just in the main gorge. And many of these pools are rimmed by polished granite, ideal for sunbathing. Take a dip, sunbathe until dry. Repeat. Imaging spending an afternoon — or the entire weekend doing — just that.
It’ll be toasty this coming July weekend, a weekend that just makes sense to be on the water
Coast / Coastal Plain
It is perhaps the most rewarding type of paddling — and the easiest: paddling the tidal flats and meandering backwaters of the coast. The ill-defined wetlands along the sounds, the narrow tidal creeks enveloped in lush maritime woods that feed into the sounds. So much to see just a paddle-length away.