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
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
Summer arrives and our thoughts turn to hiking in the mountains. Until now, the weather, by and large, has been decent for hiking in the piedmont. Come Memorial Day, however, the steamy reality of summer settles in; for many, the prospect of a 90/90 (heat/humidity) day moves hiking to the bottom of their recreational to-do list. Or makes them re-think their options. So we turn to the mountains, which offer two forms of relief.read more
Not when you live in part of the country where you can experience a rare coastal forest escape, hike on the country’s most iconic trail, and explore a high country oasis all while enjoying the cold embrace of the season, minus the threat. Sure, it can get cold and there can be snow. But not to the extent you need extreme weather gear to survive. Rather, winter here offers a stark beauty that can be enjoyed in solitude. And if you really don’t like the “cold,” but can tolerate cool, winter backpacking at the coast offers an experience you can’t have any other time of year.read more