I just returned from a five-day retreat of sorts, a portion of which was spent thinking about trails. All kinds of trails, and the role they play in our lives. It was something I didn’t realize I’d been thinking about for so long: all the way back, it seems, to the first time I looked into the sky and saw a contrail streaking across the sky, the sign of a journey being taken from unknown Point A to unknown Point B. The initial joy of that journey? Imagining where those two points might be.
Wednesday, we talked about “back door” hikes, hikes that are off the beaten path, hikes at some of our favorite places, but without the crowds. He brought up these hikes because escaping the masses will be even more of a challenge as the fall hiking season approaches,
Sometimes you just need a little outdoor time. Not a full weekend of exploring. Not even a whole day — even a half day. Sometimes just an hour, hour and a half will do.
That well could be the case this weekend, when temperatures are again expected to reach 90, when afternoon storms are again a threat. Under such circumstances, a quick outing into a scenic spot can do the trick.
Portions of the 29 North Carolina State Parks that had been closed as a result of the coronavirus reopened this past weekend. Some reopened all their trails, some just a few. It’s worth a visit to the N.C. State Parks Facebook page for a sense of how things went systemwide. You’ll need to go beyond the photo of cars queued up as far as the eye can see at Raven Rock State Park to get a sense of what Reopening Day was like.
Note: This post was updated at 8:30 a.m. on May 6 to reflect additional details on the phased reopening of North Carolina’s State Parks.
Under Phase 1 of the reopening of North Carolina in light of the coronavirus pandemic, “parks and trails are encouraged to reopen.”