Something about cool, fall weather makes you want to hike farther. Now that that weather has finally arrived, we’ve got some of those longer trails we think you might like. Here are 11, including nine in the Piedmont and two along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. (We’ll talk long trails at the coast in coming weeks, once the weather turns from cool to cold.)
Editor’s note: This post originally ran at the start of last fall. We’ve tweaked it, and will continue to run a version of it at the start of every fall hiking season to help you avoid crowded trails in the most popular hiking season.
Officially, fall starts tomorrow, Sept. 21, officially at 3:21 p.m. EST. Appropriately, a rainy front is ushering in cold air about the same time that will drop temperatures about 15 degrees, into the low 70s initially. By the weekend, expect highs in the upper 70s, lows around 50.
Yes, good fall color remains in the Piedmont. And the weather — temperatures in the low 70s under mostly sunny skies — is looking pretty good for getting out and finding it. That’s our objective for the weekend with these recommendations. First, our three hike recommendations:
We are so ready for fall — and the fall hiking season, which begins this weekend.
We know: the calendar says fall doesn’t start until September 22. But we have long associated Labor Day with the passing of the torch from summer to fall. Even in the wack-a-doodle year of 2020, when up is down and down is sideways, we can’t shake the holiday’s unofficial hand-off.
Even with the temperature living in the 90s this summer, it’s been hard to find solitude on the trail. Everyone, now, is a hiker.
But not everyone knows to look for the more subtle stretches of trail. Trail, for instance, that doesn’t start from a visitor center, that doesn’t have a privy, that doesn’t even have paved parking — official parking, period. Finding these gems is tricky. But they’re out there.