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

Note: Weather may affect events listed for this weekend. Check the mentioned websites or call ahead if in doubt.

This week’s hike: Eno River State Park

Navigating the Eno.
Navigating the Eno.

Our GetHiking! Triangle and Triad, and GetExploring! Greenville groups are planning hikes in the Fews Ford area of Eno River State Park Saturday, weather permitting. It’s easy to say, “This is the best time to hike along the Eno,” because it’s always a good time to hike the Eno. But a hike on the cusp of spring is particularly alluring, in large part because spring emerges along the Eno with such vigor. So enticing is the wildflower display throughout the Eno River Valley that the Eno River Association hosts a weekly series of spring hikes throughout the region, and they’ve even compiled an extensive guide to the Eno’s wildflowers (see below).
Saturday’s hikes will include loop trails along the river: the GetHiking! groups will start and end on the Buckquarter Creek Trail, with the Shakori and Holden Mill loops in between. About seven miles of moderate hiking in all. The GetExploring! hikers will do the Buckquarter Creek and Holden Mill figure 8, then jump the river and hike the Cox Mountain Trail. About eight miles total.
Learn more about the GetHiking! hike here, the GetExploring! hike here..

IMG_7015-1Our last adventure: Getting out of the house

What a week: snow, ice, temperatures in the single digits. Children constantly underfoot.
What a great week it would have been to take a long hike at Doughton Park (postponed), or even a short one (also postponed). Or maybe a hike in the Birkhead Wilderness of the Uwharries that few hikers have done (yep, postponed).

Greenville’s Bike and Brew crew.

The good news: these are all hikes we will be doing in the spring. Keep an eye on the GetHiking! site for the rescheduled dates. The one event that did come off: GetExploring! Greenville’s Bike and Brew rides in and around Greenville.

Gear I Like: Social media

Saturday morning, I was contemplating a run at Umstead State Park, about a 10-minute drive. I’d been cooped up all week, the temperature was already 25, and the morning, at least, appeared dry.
I checked Umstead’s website to see if the entrance I use had opened: it had, but there was an advisory about icy trails. Was this the park covering its legal bases, or were the trails legitimately treacherous? To the Facebook!
A quick search of the “news” feed revealed a runner I know and respect who had just returned from an aborted run. “Too much ice for me,” Mike wrote. “Company Mill, Loblolly and bridle all too slick for me lacking yaktraks.” That was all I needed to know to turn my attention to house chores for the day.
Social media is immediate and, if not always reliable, gives you a little more insight into things such as weather-related conditions. I appreciate Mike taking the time to share.

Tip of the Week: Vernal pools

You may find this hard to believe, but the first signs of spring are beginning to emerge. (Defrost your currently understandable disbelief and stick with me on this.)
Most of us think of wildflowers as the first sign of spring, the delicate trout lily, the sunflowery Leopard’s-bane.
In fact, an earlier sign comes after the first warm, mid-winter rainfall fills depressions in the forest that become vernal, or spring, pools. These temporary pools make safe breeding grounds for certain frogs and salamanders; safe, because they don’t support the fish populations that would otherwise devour their eggs. Learn more about what goes on in these isolated waters at
And the next time you pass a small pool in the woods, check it out for signs of spring’s real first-responders.

Trout lily
Trout lily

Resource of the week: ERA spring wildflower guide

Rewarding as finding a murky puddle might be, most of us would prefer seeing the first wildflowers of spring (and, again, they are coming).
The Eno River Association has compiled a great guide to “wildflowers and other plants in the Eno River Basin,” which is representative of the region as a whole.
Trout lily It includes photos, when you might expect to see a particular flower, and where odds are best of spotting it.
Check it out here.