We love hiking at night. We started doing it about eight years ago in winter when we noticed hikers missed their midweek trail fix. The hikes proved so popular that we now offer night hikes year round.
So with our predilection for post-sunset saunters, we were pleased to see that as part of Merchants Millpond State Park’s Holiday Decorations program with Gates County Community Events, the park will also be closing later, at 8 p.m. as opposed to 6 p.m., both this Friday and Saturday and next (Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18). That means you can come and check out the holiday decorations, then enjoy about three hours of nocturnal navigation.read more
If you think it’s bad that the sun sets today at 6:25 p.m., wait until 11 days from now when the sun disappears at 5:14!
Yup, Daylight Saving Time ends in the wee hours of Nov. 7, and we lose an hour of sunlight on the backend. (On the plus side, while we’ll continue to lose afternoon daylight for another month or so, we’ll start gaining it back, slowly, on Dec. 14.) The start of Standard time, alas, means many of you will curtail your evening adventures. Too bad, because you don’t need to. Not when the dark offers so many new reasons to explore.read more
On Tuesday evening’s hike, I overheard a new hiker ask a veteran, “Someone told me you do this series in the winter — in the dark? Is that true?”
Indeed it is, replied the veteran of our winter weekly Tuesday night campaigns. She went on to explain why you would hike at night, in winter, essentially boiling it down to two factors: First, the practical: for most of us, if you want to get in a mid-week hike when all the daylight hours are consumed by work you have little choice but to hike in the dark. And two: it’s a good time. “It’s just a different experience hiking in the dark. It’s fun!”read more
We came to a stop in the narrow clearing accommodating a power line and switched off our headlamps. We’d reached the turnaround point for our weekly Tuesday Night Hike, and as was our habit, we went dark for several minutes. The sun was long gone, having set two hours earlier, and the moon was just starting to think about cresting the eastern horizon. It was dark, really dark, and it took our eyes a minute to adjust. Our psyches, too.read more
We typically wait until the end of Daylight Saving Time to advocate hiking at night, for strapping on a headlamp and venturing down your favorite trails after dark. We’ve long been fans of hiking in night in winter because, for those of us in the workforce, it’s typically the only time we can work in a midweek hike. The sun sets at 5 p.m., before the whistle blows at the Widget Works, who cares? You’ve got a 300-lumen torch strapped to your forehead to light the way.read more