Tag Archives: Mount Mitchell

5 Special Spots for hiking and backpacking

We’ve been thinking about some of our favorite mountain places to explore come fall, and realized that there are a variety of ways we love to explore them. There’s the day hike: spending a day to see as much as possible, then heading home. There’s the basecamp trip: Either establishing camp in a campground or hiking in a short distance in full pack and setting up camp, then doing day hikes from there. Or, there’s the point-to-point backpack trip. Since we all explore differently, we thought, why not look at all three options? So today, we do. read more

GetOut! This weekend: hike with a ranger, go camping

Ridgeline Trail

The signs of re-emergence continue this weekend, with North Carolina State Parks hosting some of the more ambitious — and larger hikes — that they’ve done since the pandemic, including:

3 Parks — 2 States — 1 Hike, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Crowders Mountain State Park/Boulders Access, Kings Mountain. This 10-mile out-and-back, co-sponsored by the Friends of Crowders Mountain, takes the Ridgeline Trail south into South Carolina’s Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park. A long hike, but it flattens after crossing into the Palmetto State. The hike is limited to 30 (been a while since we’ve seen a hike that big), and drinks and snacks will be available through the Friends prior to the hike. Free, but a donation to support the work of the Friends would be appreciated. Register by calling 704.853.5375; learn more here. read more

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Temperatures in the 70s, mostly sunny skies — sounds like a weekend to get out and explore in the GetOut! universe. Some options for your adventure consideration:

High 5 @ Hanging Rock, Saturday, beginning at 7 a.m., Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. Our friends with the Friends of Sauratown Mountains do a great job supporting both Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock state parks, the west and east endpoints, respectively, of the Sauratown Mountain range. They support the parks in a variety of ways, one of which is by funding some of the smaller park projects that might  not otherwise get done. Where do they get their money? you ask. From events like High 5 @ Hanging Rock. The goal of High 5 is to hike all 5 of Hanging Rock’s key high points: Moore’s Knob, Cooks Wall, Hanging Rock, Wolf Rock and House Rock. Complete the circuit and get a patch! There are two rest stops along the route, foot trucks at the finish (get a $5 food truck voucher upon registration). Cost is $40, which, again, will largely go to benefit the parks. Learn more and sign up here. read more

This weekend: Get out and learn a thing or two

Mount Mitchell: the top of the East Coast

Moving is good. Learning something while you’re on the move is even better. This weekend is a good one for learning on the move.


For many, the key to getting active is to resist the urge to overindulge at the start and expect immediate results. That’s why so many New Year’s resolutions go kaput before January is over: you expect to become Charles (or Charlene) Atlas in just two weeks.

That’s why we like events such as Saturday’s =&1=& in Wilmington. On this hour-and-a-half walk you’ll take a leisurely pace through the historic Forest Hills section of Wilmington, learning about “architecture and landscape design within the neighborhood, highlighting the economic, social, and community development. These tours bring attention to the special qualities of the neighborhoods and how they contribute to the city’s quality of life.”

Learning and moving. Pretty good combination.

Logistics: Guided Walking Tour of Forest Hills, Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m., Wilmington. $10. Pre-registration required, by calling 910.762.2511.

Saturday forecast: 86 and mostly sunny at walk time.

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Looking ahead: Can’t make Sunday’s walk? It repeats on July 29. More info here.


Conquering our fears: that’s part of why we go outside. We hike at night to get past fearing a dark forest. We go off trail — with map and compass — to explore the less-visited and feel more comfortable navigating the woods. We embrace water crossings as refreshing rather than reject them for the possibility of getting wet.

And yet, we remain fearful of snakes. All snakes.

Sunday, take the first step toward getting past your ophidiophobia by attending =&3=& At Pilot Mountain State Park. Learn how to identify snakes (including the venomous ones), learn about their lives. Learn to appreciate them as one of one of your incentives for heading outdoors.

Logistics: Snakes!, Sunday, July 16, 10 a.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. More information here.

Saturday forecast: 78 and sunny at event time.

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Looking ahead: Canoe the Yadkin, Thursday, July 27, 10 a.m., Yadkin River Access of Pilot Mountain State Park. More info here.


Hiking in the spruce and pine forests at North Carolina’s highest elevations is like hiking in a different world. Or Canada. If you’re accustomed to the ecozones of the lower Southern Appalachian hardwood forests, you likely find yourself asking, like a confused tourist, “What the heck is that?

Find out “what the heck” on Sunday’s =&5=& hike at Mount Mitchell State Park. “Join a ranger to understand why the Black Mountain Range and Mt. Mitchell are so unique in North Carolina in terms of its ecology and wildlife,” says the hike description. Then, take a few minutes to head north on the Black Mountain Crest Trail to put your newfound knowledge to work identifying this curious land of boreal delights.

Logistics: High Elevation Peaks, Sunday, July 16, 2 p.m., Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville. More info here.

Sunday forecast: 64 degrees under sunny skies.

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Looking ahead: Balsam Nature Trail Guided Hike, Sunday, Sept. 10, Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville. More info here.

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

Looking ahead: Can’t make Saturday morning’s Build-a-Boat? The event repeats Saturday, July 29 at noon. More info here.


D’ja ever wonder about the weather on top of a mountain? About the highest wind gusts ever recorded? Lowest temperature? Most snow?

Likewise, who hasn’t wondered how they record that information? Saturday is your chance to have these questions answered at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. Setting out from the picnic area, you’ll make the short clime to MJ’s 4,683-foot summit, home to a North Carolina Climate Office data collection tower, where the mountain will reveal her climatological secrets during the Mount Jefferson’s Climate Tower program.

Logistics: Mount Jefferson’s Climate Tower, Saturday, July 8, 2 p.m., Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Mostly sunny with a high of 76.

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Looking ahead: Can’t make Saturday’s hike, but intrigued all the same by Mount Jefferson? Then consider the Rock Outcrop Hike at the park on Saturday, July 29. More info here.

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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 read more