When I moved to the Raleigh area at the beginning of 1992, I spent a lot of time at Umstead State Park. It was a 10-minute drive, you could hike and mountain bike, and, lucky me, I happened to live on what I considered to be the most interesting side of the park, the Reedy Creek side, off I-40. Access to the mountain bike/equestrian trails was easier, you could pick up two long trails from the parking lot, even the physical facilities — the picnic shelters, the restrooms — seemed more inviting.
That rain that moved through the region yesterday ushered in a cool front that will drop temperatures into the low 80s throughout much of GetGoingNC’s adventure land, ideal weather for some weekend adventure. There may be a rogue thunderstorm or two Sunday afternoon, but by-and-large, pretty delightful weather.
A quick recap today of where you can’t hike, where you can hike but maybe shouldn’t, and where you should hike.
Where you can’t hike
Initially, visitor centers, restrooms, camping and cabins were closed. Now, many trails are being closed as well.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The entire park, with two small exceptions, closed March 24, and will remain closed at least through April 6.
Today on the Great Outdoor Provision Co. blog we give an overview of that funding and talk to former State Parks Director Lewis Ledford for his take on how the funding would continue a job started in 1993 by a watershed $35 million State Parks bond package. You can find that story here.
Last week, I wrote of the need to get out — at least once — on a sanity-saving hike over the holiday season. Because we realize you have a lot going on this time of year, and because we realize the one chance you might have to venture out should be extra special, we offered to come up with the perfect hike, just for you. To make that happen, we asked a few questions, such as: How long is your ideal hike? How far are you willing to drive? And what do you hope to find along the trail? You made my job easier by being pretty much in synch regarding your needs.