This weekend’s hiking forecast: Hot, with highs in the mid to upper 80s under mostly sunny skies with increased humidity and a decreased chance of crowds.
The arrival of warmer weather today and into the weekend should help reduce the crowds that have been flocking to trails of late. The recent crowds are the perfect-storm result of remarkably gorgeous weather and limited entertainment options under Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home. The forecast warmer temperatures and the increased number of shopping options since May 9 means we should see fewer people on the trails this weekend. That said, if you want to really avoid the crowds:read more
Don’t let the weather rain on your weekend adventure parade. Grab a rain jacket (or a big trash bag) and venture out for some good, wet, fun! Such as:
Occoneechee Geology Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m., Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. One of the reasons we like this hike for this weekend is that the trail is generally high up and less susceptible to standing water (except for portions along the Eno River, which will be under water). Quarrying operations from years ago leave the north face of the mountain exposed, making it ideal for a geological dissection. Also: the hike is lead by a geologist. About 1.5 miles of moderately difficult hiking. Free, but registration required, by calling 919.383.1686. More info here.read more
Finally, some fall-like weather! The weather unpleasantness that blew through late in the week has been replaced by seasonable temperatures. Meaning if you head out for a hike early Saturday, you better be packing fleece — it could be in the upper 40s.
That said, a few thoughts on the weekend ahead:
GetHiking! Triangle Fleece Hike at Horton Grove, Saturday, 9 a.m. Horton Grove Nature Preserve, Bahama. We aren’t about to pass on our first opportunity of the fall to hike in fleece! Expect a temperature around 50 when we hit the trail on this 6-mile hike. Starting from the old white barn on Jock Road we’ll hike a loop composed of the Jordan, Walker, Peaks, Holman, Hart and Justice trails. Because of its elevation and location on a high plateau, it should be comparatively immune from the drenching rains of Michael. Learn more and sign up here.
Big Canoe Program, Saturday, 2 p.m., Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville (northeast corner of the state). We’re intrigued by the simple program description: “Come to the visitors center at 2:00 p.m. for a canoe program in large canoes.” Large canoes … hmm. It’s free, and while these are large canoes, seating is limited, preregistration is required, by calling 252.357.1191. Not much more information here.
=&2=&, Sunday, 1 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap (west of Elkin, which is northwest of Winston-Salem. If you’re new to hiking, this is a great starter hike: from the Lower Trailhead Parking Area, it’s a short hike (a half mile overall) to the Hutchinson Homestread, long enough to see some emerging fall color, learn about the homestead, and see the massive moon face of Stone Mountain (and likely some climbers working their way up the smooth face). Moreyinfo here.
You can find more opportunities this weekend here:
North Carolina State Parks have a variety of adventures planned for the weekend. Check those options here.
North Carolina Environmental Education Centers has an extensive calendar of what’s happening at its affiliates; check it out here.
The weekend forecast calls for a little rain — but not of biblical proportions. With temperatures in the low 80s and upper 70s under mostly sunny skies, the weekend couldn’t be much different than last. So get out and enjoy.
First, though, before heading out on your own, keep in mind that some of our favorite outdoor playgrounds remain closed by Hurricane Florence. Check this post from earlier in the weekabout checking ahead to see what is, and isn’t, open. For instance, most North Carolina State Parks from Jordan Lake southeast to the coast remain closed (with the exception of Fort Fisher State Recreation Area).
Now, a recommendation or three:
=&0=&, Lake Norman State Park, Troutman, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Did we mention it’s that Saturday is the first day of fall? What better way to enjoy the debut of autumn than with a hike along the shoreline of Norwood and Hicks creeks in search of the first signs of fall color. More info here.
=&1=&, Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills, Sunday, 11 a.m. On the second day of fall, take a ride on an open air wagon down Canal Road and “See the park’s liquor still [presumably retired] and lighter boat replicas … .” Then stick around and hike or bike on the park’s 16.7-mile trail network. More info here.
=&2=&, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain, Sunday, 8 a.m. Our GetHiking! Charlotte group gets an early start on a 6-mile hike exploring Kings Pinnacle. More info here.
Plus, you can also find more adventures right here, at GetGoingNC.com.