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.read more
If you get the urge to check out fall color in the next couple of weekends, a bit of advice:
Don’t go where the leaf peeping experts say to go.
Their advice gravitates to the easily accessible go-to color hotspots, mostly along the easily accessed Blue Ridge Parkway: Graveyard Fields, Rough Ridge, Price Lake … . Sure, photos taken within the past few days scream chamber-of-commerce-certified color, but they’re screaming it to the tens of thousands of others looking for a quick autumn fix. A fix that can be had without venturing too far from the car. With a classic fall forecast for this weekend, expect those hotspots to be just that in more ways than one.read more
Not surprisingly, some of North Carolina’s more popular state parks filled to capacity again this weekend. Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, South Mountains, Raven Rock, Stone Mountain, Occoneechee, part of Eno River all had to shut down at one point because they had reached capacity.read more
From the N.C. State Parks and Recreation Facebook page on Sunday:
Occoneechee State Natural Area full as of 11 a.m.
Eno River State Park’s Cole Mill and Fews Ford accesses closed as of 1 p.m.
Raven Rock State Park is full as of 10:00 a.m.
Hanging Rock State Park is full as of 10:40 a.m. Main restrooms are closed due to sewer failure; restrooms are open at the lake parking lot. There were 1,000 more visitors at Hanging Rock yesterday than ever recorded before.
Pilot Mountain State Park is full as of 10:40 a.m.
A thousand more visitors at Hanging Rock State Park “than ever recorded before.” That is a stunning statement if you’ve ever been at Hanging Rock on a gorgeous spring or fall afternoon. A thousand! Where on earth would an extra thousand fit?read more