chill friday
Brumley Forest North


The day after Thanksgiving: a day that makes even the most adventurous of our tribe want to curl up and hide. Sure, there are elements of “adventure associated with Black Friday: camping outside a Big Box to get a shot at a $50 big screen TV, hiking from one end of the mall to the other (then back to your car, which you abandoned on the interstate because you couldn’t park any closer), climbing over fellow shoppers for that last Luvabella. 

We take a different approach to the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. There’s no Black Friday for us. Rather, we observe Chill Friday.

Chill Friday?

What’s the mean? For one, it means that half the profit on everything we sell between 9 a.m. and noon goes to support public lands. Sure, we’d love for you to drop by your local store, but we’d like your visit to have a little more emphasis on the true spirit of giving.

We also view Chill Friday as a great time to get out in the wild (again, not the “wild” portrayed above). A lot of folks have the day off, kids are out of school, there are calories to be burned. That’s why this year we’ve scheduled a series of six Chill Friday Hikes through our partnership with GetGoingNC and its GetHiking! program. These aren’t epic hikes: most are around 3 miles, most are on friendly terrain most are perfect for experienced hikers and newcomers alike.  

Here’s a rundown of our Chill Friday hikes. Find more information on each hike and sign up by clicking the links provided.

GetHiking! Triangle 

Brumley Forest Nature Preserve, Hillsborough

9 a.m.

3 miles

the Triangle Land Conservancy’s Brumley Forest is remarkably diverse for being a relatively compact track of lands. We’ll hike through meadows and past creeks, we’ll take in a couple of old farm ponds and the silo remains of an old dairy farm. We may even see a train. And it’s surprisingly flat. Rating: easy.

Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! Triad

Hagen Stone Park, Pleasant Garden

1 p.m.

3.5 miles

Our 3.5-mile hike on the Chatfield Trail circumnavigates the park, following a stream passing fallow fields, piggybacking on the park’s well-known cross-country race course, meandering through woods. It’s a mostly flat hike, the perfect medicine to wake you from your turkey-induced tryptophan torpor. A good hike for kicking off an active holiday season. Rating: easy to moderate — depends how active you’ve been.

Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! Charlotte

McDowell Nature Preserve, Charlotte

9 a.m.

3.1 miles

Our 3.1-mile hike on the Pine Hollow, 4 Seasons, Cove, King Fisher, and Shady Hollow trails loops around half of the park, follows a stream, overlooks Lake Wylie, meanders through the woodlands, and crosses over several docks and picnic areas. It’s a mostly flat hike, the perfect medicine to wake you from your turkey-induced tryptophan torpor. Rating: easy to moderate —depends how active you’ve been.

Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! Virginia Beach

First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach

9 a.m.

3 miles

We’ll do a short 3 mile loop on the Osmanthus and Bald Cypress trails. This will be a great opportunity to walk off some of that turkey and green bean casserole. This is a very low-impact, easy hike suitable for anyone who would like to get some fresh air before the holiday shopping spree begins. 

Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! Charlottesville 

Peaks of Otter, Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 85.6

8 a.m.

3.6 miles (more if you like)

Hike highlights: Mill Mountain Trail, Big Schloss Trail, Tibbit Knob Trail, Big Schloss viewpoint, Tibbet Knob viewpoint, Wolf Gap Campground, where the hike begins and ends. Includes a near-360-degree view from Big Schloss. Rating: moderately strenuous.

Learn more and sign up here.

GetHiking! Charlottesville

Old Mills Trail along the Rivanna River, Charlottesville

12:30 p.m.

6 miles

Six miles, yes, but as hike leader Pepper notes, “easy as six miles can be.” Trail passes the Woolen Mills, past remnants of an 1830s canal and falls, and a brief stop for a  pause for a photo opp near the history reader board. More of an urban hike, but on natural surface trail.

Learn more and sign up here.