Let March know you’ve been waiting for it with a big outdoor welcome this weekend. Paddle the month in at the coast, greet it from on high in the Piedmont, or acknowledge its arrival with a classic hike on the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs.
Throughout much of North Carolina, the forecast through New Year’s Day couldn’t be much better for one thing.
Taking a hike.
In the Triangle, for instance, we’re looking at daytime highs in the mid- to upper 40s and sunny to partly sunny skies through New Year’s Day. Good timing since most of you likely have some time off over this same time period. Since the weather today is universally ugly and thus ideal for planning, we offer 10 hikes especially well-suited for this time of year. Look ‘em over, consult the listed sources for additional information. If nothing tickles your hiking fancy, head over to our sister site, NCHikes.com, for more options.
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
The three teenage girls sat on the stone steps at the Ledge Spring trailhead, parallel texting and oblivious. All wore sunglasses, all were elsewhere. Sensing my approach, one leaned slightly, thumbs continuing to hammer her tiny keyboard. I managed to squeeze by. At least they’re outside, I thought, trying to put some positive spin on the scene yesterday afternoon at Pilot Mountain State Park.
It’s another diverse weekend in North Carolina: Take a preseason plunge into the chilly Atlantic, run up a quartzite monadnock, or spy on your feathered friends (in the name of science).
Here’s a good opportunity to see just how sturdy your cardio is: The 8th Annual Special Olympics Polar Plunge Saturday at Carolina Beach. Picture yourself at the Le Mans-style start, you in your fetching bathing suit making a mad dash for the 51.3 degree waters of the Atlantic — all in support of Special Olympics. Related festivities — live entertainment, costume contest, auction, food, drawings for prizes — start at 11 a.m., the plunge takes place during the heat of the day, at 3 p.m. (air temperatures around 60 are forecast).