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

This week’s adventures: Low Bridge Nature Preserve, deHart Botanical Garden, MST at Falls Lake

Here’s what’s on tap in our world this weekend:

MST.Sign*Thursday, 7 p.m. Meet the MST. May is Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, and we’re going to spend some time between now and Memorial Day weekend getting to know this trail that runs from Clingman’s Dome on the Tennessee line in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge on the coast. We’ll kick off the month with an in-store clinic Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m., with an update on the trail’s progress (about 620 of the trail’s roughly 1,000 miles are complete) and it’s history. We’ll also hear from two GetExploring! members who are planning to hike the MST this fall. Refreshments and gear giveaways, too.
For more information on the clinic and to sign up, go here.
* Saturday, 9:30 a.m., Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake. It’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, and we’re celebrating with a series of hikes on our favorite statewide trail.
Saturday, we’ll start with a 10.6-mile section along Falls Lake (Day-Hike Sections K&L). After setting a shuttle, we’ll hike uplake from NC 50 to the Rollingview State Recreation Area access to the MST. This is one of the more remote stretches of the MST in the Triangle, parting with roads and nearby development for extended stretches. Good solitude on this hike. Learn more and sign up here.

de Hart Botanical Garden
de Hart Botanical Garden

* Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Allen deHart Botanical Gardens, Louisburg. The deHart Botanical Garden is a remarkable oasis sitting inconspicuously off US 401 on the way to Louisburg. It has native flowers in bloom year-round, and while it’s manicured to a degree, it retains a wild field. This will be a leisurely 3.2-mile hike. Optional strawberry picking to follow. Learn more and sign up here.
* Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Low Water Bridge Nature Preserve near Troy. More details are available on our piggyback hikes scheduled for Saturday and Sunday as part of The LandTrust For Central North Carolina’s 3rd Annual Naturalist Weekend. There will be two hikes both days, starting at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All hikes will be lead by John Gerwin, ornithologist at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science; Sunday’s hikes will also feature Zach Orr, a rattlesnake expert who will discuss the snakes found in the Uwharries.
The hikes will be held on the LandTrust’s 1,300-acre Low Water Bridge Preserve near Troy along the Uwharrie River. The hikes are free, but you must preregister with Crystal at the LandTrust, either by phone, at 336.633.0143, or by emailing her at
Learn more about the event here.

Tip of the Week: Think!

green-frogBackpacking in Linville Gorge this past weekend, I was reminded of the importance of thinking while in the wild. It was late and getting dark, we were heading back to camp, and we were relying on a pond near our campsite for water for dinner and breakfast the following morning. We couldn’t remember how close the pond was to camp, and in the gathering gloam it was near impossible to see more than 20 feet off the trail. Had we passed the pond? Would we be gathering the dew from rhododendron leaves for morning coffee?
“Did you hear that?” Kate suddenly asked.
“Yeah, a frog!” I answered. “Cool!”
“No,” she said, politely declining to add “you dolt!” “A frog means water.”
And indeed, the pond revealed itself 30 yards up the trail. One inattentive hiker’s “Cool!” was a more in-touch hiker’s salvation.
Thinking. It’s your best friend in the wild.

Resource of the Week: ‘The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across NC’

k2-_93fbcc2c-e94c-40d4-ad77-fa896cae99f4.v1In honor of Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, we’re recommending a good read and guide on the subject: Danny Bernstein’s “The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina: Walking a Thousand Miles through Wildness, Culture and History” (2013, The History Press). As the title suggests, this is about more than where to turn left to stay on the trail; when Danny set out on her section hike of the statewide trail in 2010, her goal was to, as the book’s title suggests, give a sense of the trail’s wildness, culture and history. Along the way she writes as much about the people as the land. A great way to get to know the MST.

Gear We Like: Teardrop campers

3530c45794c1dec0abfa9a4af1064e37A good place to note that just because we like a piece of gear doesn’t mean we have said piece of gear. Case in point: the teardrop camper. These ultra-mini campers are popping up all over: driving back from Linville Gorge Sunday we saw two, one of which was towed by a Mini Cooper. For the most part, the campers are big enough to squeeze into to sleep; some have additional storage or a foldout kitchen, but nix the thought of having the Tuppermans in campsite 12 over for bridge. These are largely to get keep you from sleeping on the ground. And there comes a point for some, when sleeping on the ground is a deal-breaker.
Check out a selection of teardrops at the Teardropin’ Pinterest site.