Despite the cold, the forest floor is coming alive with splashes of color: carpets of delicate white spring beauties, patches of starburst white chickweed, bursts of purple periwinkle, flashes of yellow green-and-gold.
The spring show has begun, but it won’t last forever. Here are five spots where you’re likely to find the season in full flower for at least the next couple of weeks (longer in the high country).read more
The best thing about hiking on a cold winter’s day? You can hike forever.
For starters, the cold itself is good incentive to keep moving. And the more you move down the trail the more you realize what a magical time of year this is in the woods. Winter’s sunlight knifes bright through a leafless canopy, illuminating a forest floor littered with coppery leaves. Somehow, those gray tree trunks manage to evoke a sparkle. Winter’s dry air cranks up the volume the season’s quiet. It’s an experience you don’t want prematurely ended on a 3-mile trail.read more
This week, it’s all about Sunday, New Year’s Day, and First Day Hikes — and First Day Outings. The latter First, first.
On Sunday in North Carolina we enter Year of the Trail, as deemed by the State Legislature. All year, we will celebrate trails of every stripe: natural surface, paved surface, equestrian, hiker, mountain biker, trails of blue. Even our cultural trails. We’ll get into all this in January, but for now we focus on Sunday. And first, those Outings.read more
Not when you love the outdoors and 2023 happens to be Year of the Trail in North Carolina.
As I’ve mentioned over the last couple of months, next year has been deemed Year of the Trail in North Carolina and there’s going to be a lot going on. For starters, the State Legislature in 2022 allocated $29.15 million in funding for the Complete the Trails Fund. That money will fund State Trail projects as well as projects deemed :shovel-ready” — that is, the land has been purchased and the trail designed; all that’s needed now is the money to build it. Expect a lot of “Excuse our Mess” signs out in the woods next year.read more
Fall is just around the corner and you can’t wait to resume a vigorous hiking schedule.
But where to go first? A tough decision: You want to hit all your favorites first.
Alas, because you can’t be in two or more places at once, you need to plan your hikes accordingly by taking into account the best time to take each hike. You still may not be able to hit all your favorites this fall, but with smart scheduling you can hit a goodly number of them.read more