All of North Carolina’s 41 State Parks have closed their visitor centers, restrooms, camping and other touchy facilities, while another 29 have closed completely, including trails. And while the latter is an understandable bummer, it overshadows the fact that you can still hike in the 12 remaining parks.
Sunday evening, North Carolina State Parks posted a notice that four parks — Crowders Mountain, Hanging Rock, Lake Waccamaw and Raven Rock — were closed as of sunset. By morning, that post was already outdated, with Morrow Mountains State Park joining the list.
Summer officially arrived at 6:06 a.m. Thursday, but it sent an advance team early in the week: temperatures in the mid-90s. Thus, our focus for the weekend is wet and wild. Or at least wet.
Some events on tap that will keep you close to water:
Firefly Viewing, New River State Park, Laurel Springs. Saturday, 9 p.m. Double your chances of staying cool by not only being near water, but exploring at night as well. Details here.
Last weekend, we hiked more of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake and saw our first mountain laurel bloom of the season — a lone bloom, but an impressively full and vibrant (if white can be vibrant) bloom about midway between the Shinleaf Recreation Area and NC 98. We also spent a little time exploring all the Eno River in Orange County and planning a trip next weekend to the Curtis Creek area of the Pisgah National Forest. It was a busy weekend on the trail.
Don’t forget your eclipse-viewing safety glasses!
Based on dire warnings from N.C. Department of Transportation message boards statewide (“Plan Ahead”!), we’re guessing that pert near everyone is resting up this weekend for the day of gathering gloom on Monday. Thus, we focus on events focused on the Sun’s disappearance Monday afternoon around 2:30.