The following items are from our GetExploring! Greenville and GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad and Triangle enewsletters. All enewsletters are delivered, upon request, to subscribers’ email boxes on Mondays. If you’d like to sign up for this free service, email

What’s up in the GetHiking! and GetExploring! worlds this week and beyond.

GetHiking! 7 Sisters Fall Color Hike
GetHiking! Charlotte
When: Sunday, Oct. 16, 6:45 a.m.
Where: Montreat Conference Center, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat.

The leaves should be at peak fall color on this hike on The Montreat Conference Center’s vast “wilderness.” Views along the Seven Sisters ridge encompass seven peaks, and beautiful views of Black Mountain & Old Fort to the east, and Burnett Reservoir and Craggy Gardens to the west.

We will be going up Greybeard Trail (Moderate) to Greybeard Falls and Walkers Knob Shelter. A half mile later we intersect with West Ridge Trail (Strenuous) and on to Big Piney Ridge Trail (Strenuous) for our descent back to the parking area. Total distance: 7.2 miles.

Hike leader: David B.
More info here.

Paddle at Dismal Swamp State Park
GetExploring! Greenville        
When: Sunday, Oct. 16th, 11 a.m.
Where: 2294 US 17 North, South Mills, NC

We are going for a paddle at Dismal Swamp State Park. We will be paddling up the canal to the North Carolina- Virginia Border. The paddle will be about 8 miles round trip. Plan to be out on the water for 3 to 4 hours. Bring plenty of water and snacks. As well as sun screen and bug spray. If you do not have your own kayak or canoe, the park has kayaks that can be rented. We ask that all participants wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and have a light and whistle with them per Coast Guard regulations.

Hike leaders: Andrew and Lindsey
More info here

Hike NC! Our Fall Hiking Partnership

This fall, Great Outdoor Provision Co. is teaming with Blue Cross  and Blue Shield of North Carolina, North Carolina State Parks, GetGoingNC! and others on a statewide fall hiking program. The program, which includes more than 60 hikes, is aimed at getting new hikers on the trail, though many of the hikes will appeal to more experienced trekkers.
In each GetHiking! enewsletter, you’ll find a snapshot of each week’s hikes. Details are still being worked out, but when you see a hike that appeals to you, simply click on the link that will be provided and sign up.
Here are the hikes on tap for this weekend.

  • Saturday, 8 a.m. Chimney Rock State Park: Rumbling Bald Trail, 1.5 miles.
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. Harris Lake County Park: Peninsula Trail, 6 miles.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. Crowders Mountain/ Boulder Access: Ridge Line Trail, 5 miles
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. Eno River State Park: Buckquater Creek/ Holden Mill Trails, 4.1 miles
  • Saturday, 11 a.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Nuwati Trail, 3 miles.
  • Saturday, 1 p.m. Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve: Various trails making a loop, 3 miles
  • Saturday, 1 p.m. Stone Mountain State Park, Stone Mountain Loop
  • Sunday’s MST hike includes a run through the old mill town of Glencoe. Trail, 4.5 miles
  • Saturday, 2 p.m. Carolina Beach State Park, Sugarloaf Trail, 2 miles
  • Saturday, 7 p.m. Chimney Rock State Park: Rumbling Bald Trail, 1.5 miles.
  • Sunday, 1 p.m.. Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Haw River Trail, 6 miles

More info here

GetHiking! View Fall Colors at Pilot Mountain
GetHiking! Charlotte
When: Sunday, October 30, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
Where: See Meetup

Join us for a “day before Halloween” Cardio Climb to view Fall Colors at Pilot Mountain, only 1.5-2 hours from Charlotte (depending on your departure point.) This hike is rated Strenuous due to:

  • 10+ Miles total distanceStairs
  • Gradual, but constant ascent
  • Fast Pace

We’ll focus on, (but not be limited to) the following trails:  Grassy Ridge, Grindstone, Jomeokee, Mountain.

Hike Leader: Lisa
More info here

GetHiking! Appalachian Trail from Carver’s Gap to US 19E
GetHiking! Triad
When: Saturday, October 15, 9 a.m.
Where: We’ll meet at the Mountain Harbour Bed and Breakfast, 9151 US 19 E , Roan Mountain, Tenn.

Wide open spaces, miles of waving grass, and panoramic vistas make this an outstanding fall hike.The Roan Massif, a chain of high peaks in northeastern Tennessee, is almost as high as the Smokies. Jane Bald, Hump and Little Hump mountains, and Grassy Ridge make up the largest of the southern Appalachian grass balds. The hike is 13.4 miles, point to point, and is for the experienced hike.

Hike leader: Jean Hylton
More info here

GetHiking! Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Appalachian Trail at Hot Springs Weekend
When: Friday, Nov. 11 – Monday, Nov. 14
Where: Laughing Heart Lodge (basecamp), Hot Springs, NC

Love to hike, but not camp? You’ll be cheered to hear that our last weekend hike of the 2016 Southeast’s Classic Hikes series will be based out of the Laughing Heart Lodge in Hot Springs. We’ve blocked out the lodge for Veterans Day Weekend, for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. First, about Laughing Heart …

You will need to make your own reservations. The main lodge has 7 guest rooms, all with private baths. There’s a cabin with kitchen, and, for the budget minded, there is a hostel with rates starting at $20 per night. Learn more about Laughing Heart, which is on the Appalachian Trail, and make reservations starting here. Mention you are with GetHiking! when making your reservation. Laughing Heat can accommodate about 30 people.

Now, the hiking:

Saturday, we will have two hikes. The longer hike, 14 miles, will begin at Max Patch and head north on the AT to Garenflo Gap. The shorter hike will begin at Lemon Gap and head north on the AT to Garenflo Gap. The Max Patch hike starts atop an impressive bald, meanders downhill and along creeks for 5 miles before a climb up Walter Mountain and a longer climb up Bluff Mountain, from there it’s a 4-mile descent to Garenflo Gap. The shorter hike follows the same path from Lemon Gap to Garenflo Gap.

Sunday, we also have two hikes. The longer, 13 miles, heads north on the AT from Hot Springs up Lovers Leap Ridge (great views of the French Broad River and Hot Springs below), to Rich Mountain, then returns on the Roundtop Ridge Trail. The shorter hike, 6 miles, follows the same AT route up Lovers Leap Ridge and ends at Tanyard Gap, on US 25.

Monday, we will catch a shuttle up to Garenflo Gap on the AT and continue heading north for 7 miles back to the Laughing Heart Lodge.

This hike is part of our 2016 GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes series, sequel to 2015’s inaugural GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series.

Hike leaders: Joe Miller, Anne Triebert
More info here

Gear, Tips, Resources

Gear: A good multitool

gerber-crucial-pliers-300x300We have some fellas in the GetBackpacking! program who believe a good knife is determined by how big it is. Granted, for certain jobs — bushwhacking dense overgrowth, fending off a grizzly — bigger probably is better. But for most of our basic trail needs — working a knot out of a bootlace, ripping through a power bar wrapper — the small blade of a multitool works just dandy. And depending upon the multitool you get, you’ll get a multitude of additional tools as well: scissors, pliers, toothpick, tweezers, can opener, gizmo perfect for getting dirt out from under your nails.
The multitool options are seemingly endless, which makes shopping for one pretty fun. Think beforehand about what you might need in a multitool, then maintain an open mind as you shop and discover options you hadn’t considered (corkscrew?).
My personal favorite: the Leatherman Micra. Not so much for any particular feature, but because I got it for $5 at the State Surplus Warehouse in Raleigh. They had, literally, hundreds — confiscated from folks trying to board planes at RDU.

Tip: Hiking glossary


It occurred to me that I may use words you aren’t familiar with. Here’s a quick glossary of some of hiking’s more common terms:

Blaze: Uniform marks that indicate where a trail goes. For instance, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail uses white circles, typically painted on trees at eye level, to show where the trail goes through the woods. You can usually find out what blazes a given trail uses from a park map or kiosk, located at the trailhead (see below). If you’ve been hiking for a few minutes and haven’t seen a blaze, feel free to advise your hike leader of this fact: odds are you’ve realized you’re off-track before he has.
Cairn: While blazes (see above) are typically painted on trees, sometimes there are no trees. When there are no trees, trails are often indicated by “cairns,” or small piles of rocks shaped into a pyramid that are one to two feet high. Use them to navigate the trail.
Natural surface trail: A dirt or gravel path, as opposed to a paved greenway. Some of these paths are relatively smooth, most have at least the occasional rock or tree root.
Trailhead: Where a trail begins or can be picked up. Typically, it refers to the place where your hike starts.
Trek: This is a long hike. Tuesday, when Anna wanted to make sure a 27-mile hike wasn’t on the schedule, she could have correctly referred to it as a “27-mile trek.” We have no plans in this session for a “trek.”

Resource: More words

Those aren’t all the words unique hiking. To get your trail talk up to speed, check out the glossary of hiking terms, here.