Tag Archives: Wilson Creek

Virtual escapes: Videos of the places you’d love to be exploring

Every Thursday until the world reopens, we’re going to share with YouTube videos of the outdoor world. Each week will have a different focus. This week’s: The places our GetBackpacking! program hopes to visit this year.

OK, so maybe we can’t hike some of the places we want. But somebody has, and odds are they’ve posted a video about it on YouTube. They may not be the real thing, but they do provide voyeuristic escape, a bit of humor (both intentional and otherwise), and they can inspire your planning for trips in the hopefully not-too-distant future. And the videos cover just about every trail you can imagine.    read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

A person could get used to this weather, no? Temperatures in the 70s, sunny skies, crisp, dry air … . Just the incentive for getting out in the wild. We have some thoughts on the subject of where you might explore this weekend — and suggestions for where you can find more options. Just be sure to get out and enjoy! read more

5 of our favorite Whoa! Moments

On Saturday’s final hike of our 2018-2019 Winter Wild hike series, we decided to add an extra mile or so. It was a mile of trail I hadn’t hiked.

As we made our way up the north bank of New Hope Creek, I could hear the gradient increasing upstream, the sound of water cascading over rock a bit more intense than we’re used to hearing in the Piedmont. As the noise grew, some mild scrambling was required; we shinnied up a rock outcrop overlooking the creek and emerged on a slab 30 feet above the water. read more

So many adventures, so few weekends

Peaks of Otter

So many adventures, so few weekends.

That’s the story of summer, the 13-week run between Memorial Day and Labor Day when we pack in most of our adventures for the year. So we set out to pick some destinations that seem most worthy of summer fun. Here are a few places we’re headed this summer, and why:

Peaks of Otter

Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

June 1-3

Adventure: Weekend basecamp hiking

This especially adventurous trip combines hiking with a bit of history and a farm trip. June 6 marks the 74th anniversary of D-Day, and we’ll piggyback this hike with a visit to the National D-Day memorial in nearby Bedford, Va. After a tour of the museum Friday afternoon, we’ll continue on to our weekend basecamp at the Peaks of Otter campground. Saturday, we’ll hike three trails — 4.4-mile Flat Top, 3.3-mile Harkening Hill and 1.5-mile Sharp Top — and on Sunday we’ll make a return trip up Sharp Top to take in the sunrise. On the way out, we’ll stop at A Goode View Alpaca Farm.

Linville Gorge

Linville, NC

June 22-24

Adventure: Weekend basecamp hiking

Linville Gorge is one of the Southeast most iconic adventures. The Linville River drops 2,000 vertical feet on its 13-mile run through a gorge that’s 1,300 feet deep, creating some dizzying drops and heart-pounding climbs. The majority of the region is a designated wilderness, so you get little help in finding your way: no trail blazes and when a towering hemlock drops, no one moves in with a chainsaw to chisel a way through. It’s some of the best true exploring to be had in these parts. We stick to the east rim Saturday, hiking from Table Rock to Shortoff Mountain and back, then Sunday plunge into the gorge on trails out of the Visitor Center.

Wilson Creek

Pisgah National Forest near Mortimer, NC

June 29-July 1

Adventure: Backpacking Solo

For a summer destination, it’s hard to beat Wilson Creek, which serves as the drainage for massive Grandfather Mountain. Water worms its way every which way here, making for refreshing stream crossings, lots of waterfalls and delightful pools to cool off in. Wilson Creek itself can be overrun on a hot summer’s day, so we plan to hit the less popular, more challenging Gragg Prong and Lost Cove portions of this wild area on a trip that includes camping solo on a ridge ending in one of the best outcrop overlooks around; it’s an ideal locale for coffee and a Sunday brunch of oatmeal and Pop-Tarts. We hike out Sunday morning, with the option for a hike to South Harper Falls.

Standing Indian

Nantahala National Forest near Franklin

Aug. 24-26

Adventure: Weekend basecamp hiking

We went to Standing Indian two years ago and loved it. From the group campsite we hike up Kimsey Creek to the Appalachian Trail, cross over Standing Indian, and return to camp on Lower Trail Ridge Trail, so we can loll about back at camp in the cool waters of Kimsey Creek. Sunday, we head up Blackwell Ridge to the AT, with a return down the Long Branch Trail, in an area of old growth woods. It’s the perfect summer send-off.

Curtis Creek

Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort, NC


Adventure: Weekend basecamp hiking

NOTE: This was actually going to be a sneak into summer this coming weekend, but a stormy forecast has pushed this trip to another weekend. We’ll let you know the new date! Curtis Creek became part of the nation’s nascent national forest system in 1913, becoming the first land in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. The area is so rugged that large swaths of land hadn’t been logged yet and weren’t likely to be. Our base for the weekend is the Curtis Creek Campground up the gravel Curtis Creek Road. Both of our hikes emanate from the campground: on Saturday, we’ll take the Snooks Nose Trail 4.1 miles up to the Green Knob observation tower, encountering old growth woods above 3,200 feet. A little off-trail hiking will be required to reach the most impressive stands of poplars in an area off Laurel Knob called the Pompous Bowl. Sunday, after a pancake breakfast, we take a shorter hike out of the campground up Hickory Branch to more old growth.

Join us!

Learn how you can join us on these summer adventures by clicking on the links below.

Peaks of Otter

Linville Gorge

Wilson Creek

Standing Indian

Curtis Creek

Happy trails!


GetBackpacking! Up your game

As a backpacker, you already know the joy of heading into the woods with everything you need strapped snugly to your back. You love setting up your home-away-from-home, unfurling your sleeping bag and snugging in under the stars.

You know also that the journey from the trailhead to the sleeping bag is not without challenges—maybe the trail is a bit more rugged than anticipated or there are water crossing; the forces of nature have a way of altering even well-known paths. Or perhaps you got caught enjoying nature and suddenly find yourself setting up camp in the dark. Or, possibly, you couldn’t find anyone able to take a last-minute weekend trip with you.

We believe that, with the right knowledge and tools, you can overcome these challenges. To this end, we have developed a handful of intermediate backpacking classes designed to help broaden your backpacking skills.

We’ve set up a couple of classes before the end of summer and one in September. All run Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, and they include a planning session the Wednesday before. The three classes are:

  • GetBackpacking! Intermediate Skills at Wilson Creek
    Skills: water crossings, setting up camp in the dark
    We’ll hike into the Hunt-Fish Falls area Friday evening, then spend Saturday exploring various water crossings in the Gragg Prong Falls area. On Saturday evening, we pack up and hike in on the Big Lost Cove Trail to watch a great sunset over Grandfather Mountain, then set up camp in the dark.
    July 28-30
  • GetBackpacking! Intermediate Skills at Linville Gorge
    Skills: water crossings, setting up camp in the dark, navigating a rugged wilderness area
    We’ll loop the Linville Gorge, starting at Table Rock on the east rim and hiking to Shortoff Mountain. Saturday, we’ll descend to the gorge and cross a 60-yard-wide swath of the Linville River before heading up the gorge. We’ll camp in the gorge Saturday night, then cross a narrower, deeper run of the Linville River Sunday.
    August 25-27
  • GetBackpacking! Going Solo
    Skills: Solo backpacking
    We’ll start as a group Friday evening and finish as a group Sunday: in between, you’ll be on your own (with instructors nearby). Pisgah National Forest, exact location to be determined.
    September 15-17

You can find details about each trip on our GetHiking! Triangle Meetup page, where you can also sign up. Enrollment for each trip is limited; if the class is full, please sign up on the wait list and we will plan to schedule an additional trip. Fee for each course is $75.

Before the weekend, we’ll send you a guide that includes maps and descriptions of the routes, as well as tip sheets pertinent to the skills covered. At the planning meeting the Wednesday before each trip, we will review the route and tip sheets, and discuss appropriate clothing and specific gear. Note that for these trips, you’ll need trekking poles. Why? Find out here.

Prerequisites: If you’ve gone through our Intro to Backpacking course, or have gone on two or three backpacking trips, you should have the basic foundation for this course. If we haven’t backpacked or hiked together, we’ll give you a quick phone call to ensure that the class is a good fit for your experience.

These trips are about expanding your skills and your comfort zone, but as always, we won’t put anyone in a position that makes them unduly uncomfortable.

Questions? Email me at joe@getgoingnc.com or call 919.791.6155.

I look forward to being part of your next adventure.


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Learn more, sign up

Learn more about each trip and sign up through the following links:

=&4=&GetBackpacking! Intermediate Skills at Wilson Creek