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

Our upcoming adventures Hike, camp, backpack


GetHiking! Tuesday Night Hikes, on the MST
GetHiking! Triangle
When: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m..

Our first night hike of 2016 will be on familiar terrain: the 2.1-mile stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake between the Barton Creek Boat Ramp and NC 98 (then back, for a total distance of 4.2 miles). We like this stretch for night hikes for several reasons, including the fact it has good parking and it’s NC Wildlife Resources Commission Land, so it’s legal to hike here in the dark.

Hike leader: Joe Miller
More info here.

GHSECH.NeusiokBoardwakGetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Neusiok Trail
GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad, Triangle
When: Sunday, Jan. 24, 8:30 a.m.

Some trails are best hiked at specific times of the year. The Neusiok, for instance, which has a hiking window of roughly November through mid-March, when the flying and slithering critter populations are chilled and subdued. The cold becomes the Neusiok, which runs 21 miles through the coastal Croatan National Forest, for other reasons, too. Namely, the denuded forest offers views deep into the woods, where you’ll have better odds of spying heartier woodland creatures.

This hike begins along the south bank of the mile-wide Neuse River, then heads inland through pine savannah and pocosin (upland swamp, which is navigated via boadwalk), past entertaining remnants of the region’s not-too-distant past (stills), and through a brief hilly area more typical of the Appalachians than the Atlantic coast.

This hike will have two components: the full enchilada and a shorter version that will cover about 7 miles. There is some rolliness to the first 5 miles or so of both hikes; after that it’s pretty flat. A good long hike to begin the year.

Hike leaders: Joe Miller, Anne Triebert
More info here. (Continue reading for more information on our Classic Hikes program.)

DSC01440GetHiking! Crowders Mountain Challenge(s)
GetHiking! Charlotte
When: January, February, dates tbd

Hike leader David Brantley lives a stone’s throw from North Carolina’s Crowders Mountain State Park and South Carolina’s Kings Mountain State Park, and he’s eager to show off these two of his favorite stomping grounds. He’ll lead two hikes here: one a figure-eight loop taking in both Kings Pinnacle and Crowders Mountain, the other a trek from Crowders Mountain to Kings Mountain on the Ridgeline Trail. Dates and hike details are to be determined.

Hike leader: David Brantley
More info will be posted shortly on the GetHiking! Charlotte Meetup site.

GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes 2016
GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad, Triangle
When: Throughout 2016

Our Classic Hikes program returns in 2016, on an expanded scale: next year’s lineup includes two hikes in Virginia, hence the name change to GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes.

You can learn more about the program, get detailed information on the hikes, and sign up, at Here’s a quick lineup of what’s scheduled for next year:

January Neusiok Trail
Croatan National Forest, Havelock
Sunday, Jan. 24

GHSECH.PanthertownGroupFebruary Uwharrie Recreation Trail
Uwharrie National Forest, Asheboro
Saturday, Feb. 20

March Doughton Park
Blue Ridge Parkway, Roaring Gap
Saturday, March 19

April Appalachian Trail
James River Face, Lynchburg, Va.
Saturday, April 2

May Mountains-to-Sea Trail
Craggy Mountains, Pisgah National Forest
Saturday/Sunday, May 7-8

GHSECH.PanthertownJune Davidson River / North Mills River
Pisgah National Forest, Brevard
Saturday/Sunday, June 18-19

July Standing Indian /  Appalachian Trail
Nantahala National Forest, Franklin
Saturday/Sunday, July 16-17

August Great Smoky Mountains National Park / Deep Creek
Bryson City
Saturday/Sunday, Aug. 13-14

September Grayson Highlands / Mount Rogers
Saturday/Sunday, Sept. 23/24

GHSECH.MitchellOctober Sam Knob (Shining Rock area) / Panthertown Valley
Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 22/23

November / Appalachian Trail
Hot Springs
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 11-13

December Mount Mitchell
Pisgah National Forest / Mount Mitchell State Park
Saturday, Dec. 31


GetBackpacking! on MLK Weekend?Backpackers’ choice (see below)
When: Jan. 15-18.

The GetBackpacking! community has spoken: we will spend the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend on the Appalachian Trail.
Late Friday, we will camp on or near Max Patch. Saturday, we will hike about 12 miles to Garenflo Gap (or thereabouts). Sunday, we will continue on into Hot Springs, noodle about a bit, then continue to the Rich Mountain area (about 15 miles). Monday, we hike out, on the Roundtop Ridge Trail, back to Hot Springs, about 5 miles.
Daily mileages will vary depending upon how far we hike in Friday evening (yes, a bit of night hiking is involved). Total distance: 32 miles.
More detailed information will be provided in the December GetBackpacking! enewsletter; if you are not a subscriber, email and we’ll get you on the list (it’s free and we don’t distribute our circulation list). You can also find details on this trip in “Backpacking North Carolina” (2011, UNC Press), Trip Nos. 25 & 26.
We will hold a trip planning meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. store in Raleigh’s Cameron Village.

GH.Gear_ 2Gear of the week: Key chain hook

This week’s favored gear isn’t a freestanding piece of equipment; rather, a feature you should look for when buying a pack. An unnerving element of a hike can come at the end, when you’ve returned to your car and are digging furiously for your keys. Rats! you worry, did they pop out when I stopped for lunch? Avoid this moment of sweat-inducing despair by making sure your pack has a key chain clip. Typically, the clip is in the hood pocket: one end sewn into the fabric, the clip-end securely snagging your keychain and keeping it on board when you stop for a snack and are ravenously rooting around for your turkey jerky.

Tip of the week: Layering

Finally, seasonably crisp hiking weather! Cold temperatures, clear skies — it’s the hiking weather many of us long for. Yet it’s weather you need to pay attention to as well. Most of you are familiar with the concept of layering: adding / subtracting layers of clothing as you cool down / warm up on the trail. The idea is to keep you warm, but not warm enough to work up a sweat, which can quickly cause trouble when you stop and that sweat cools and chills your body.

Where most folks are foiled when it comes to layering is at the start of the hike. You show up, bundled up, waiting for the hike to get rolling. When it does, you likely fail to peel a layer (or two): the clothing that was keeping you warm standing idle is now creating a sauna effect, which you’ll feel five or 10 minutes down the trail. By then, you’ve likely got a nice sweat brewing. Instead, stay dry by shedding a layer right before you start down the trail. You may be cool initially, but your hiking body will warm quickly. A moment or two of discomfort early will keep you happy throughout the rest of your hike.

GH.ResourcesResource of the week:  If you don’t know about layering …

If you’re new to hiking, new to cold weather hiking, or have thus far been content to be sweaty cold on a winter hike, this Layering 101 intro from should serve as a helpful introduction.