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

GetHiking! Double Loop at Crowders Mountain
GetHiking! Charlotte


When: Saturday, Feb. 13, 8 a.m. (rescheduled from Jan. 30)

Hike leader David Brantley lives a stone’s throw from North Carolina’s Crowders Mountain State Park and he’s eager to share some of his favorite hikes at the park west of Charlotte. On Saturday, he’ll do a double loop from the Visitor Center, first to Crowders Mountain and back, then to Kings Pinnacle and back.

Crowders Mountain The first loop is about 5.2 miles, the second around 3.

Hike leader: David Brantley
More info and to sign up, on the GetHiking! Charlotte Meetup site.

GetExploring! Greenville

We will be back in another couple weeks with our spring lineup of adventures. Until then, here’s what’s going on at a state park near you.

  • Great Backyard Bird Count, Saturday, 9-10:30 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Join a park ranger for a little citizen science as you learn about, and identify the multitude of birds that hang at Hammocks Beach. More info here.
  • Owl Prowl, Saturday, 4 p.m., Pettigrew State Park, Creswell. Learn about “one of nature’s most successful winged predators,” then head out into the wilds in hopes of catching a glimpse. More info here.
  • Coastal Crafts, Sunday, 2-3 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Creswell. We wander the beach below the wrack zone gathering the multitude of shells that catch our eye. We wind up with a bag full — and then what? Then you come to this class and figure out how to craft your collection into something crafty. Free, but registration is required, by calling 910.326.4881.

GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes: Uwharrie Trail
GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad, Triangle
When: Saturday, Feb. 20, 8:30 a.m.


Both hikes will start on Section 3 of the trail, on Pisgah Covered Bridge Road (find a map to the trailhead here), which includes a climb up King Mountain, at 1,103 feet the highest point on the Uwharrie Trail. We continue on to Section 4, which climbs Little Long Mountain (pictured) for the only 360-degree view of the Uwharries. The shorter hike ends at the end of Section 4, at the Jumping Off Rock Trailhead, for a total distance of 6.3 miles. As the climbs up King and Little Long mountains suggest, this stretch is more taxing than the mileage might suggest, making it a good early season challenge.

The longer hike will continue another 11.5 miles (17.8 miles total), through the rolling hills of the Uwharries. There’s more climbing, making this option an especially good training hike for spring and summer trips in the mountains.

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.

GetHiking! Grandfather Mountain: Profile Trail to Swinging Bridge
GetHiking! Triad
When: Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m.

This 9-mile hike has a little of everything. It starts peacefully enough, along a mountain creek through mature hardwoods. Then it climbs and climbs, switchbacking its way to the ridge, a rough-and-tumble spine of ancient rock. In some spots, you’ll need to climb ladders. In some, you cling to cable to work your way across a steeply sloped rock slab. And there’s the scrambling. No wonder hike leader Jean Hylton advises you should expect a pace of 40- to 50-minute miles. This hike is weather dependent (you don’t want to be atop Grandfather Mountain when dark clouds begin gathering to the west.

Hike leader: Jean Hylton
More info here

Gear: Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle

This nifty bottle comes in many shapes and sizes, from 12 ounce to 40 ounce, for your drinking desires. The bottle’s double-wall vacuum insulation keeps water from freezing — not even in the threads — even in 10-degree weather. On the flip side, the Hydro Flask also keeps ice in a drink for up to six hours — inside a car, in summer! It’s easy to open with gloves on, thanks to the ribbed, rubbery band on the lid. Additionally, the wide mouth is compatible with many water filters. Since it is made of metal, the bottle does not retain flavors, so you can go from hot chocolate to water to Gatorade and back.

Tip: Safe hiking in the rain

Suddenly the sky goes dark, and raindrops come pelting towards your face out of nowhere. You’re in the middle of the hike with no shelter in sight. In this situation it is important to take extra caution and keep a close eye on your footing, especially around steep drainages, along hillsides, and shorelines. Rivers can also swell quickly and unexpectedly, so assessing creek and even stream crossings needs to be done carefully. Hiking in the rain can also be an enjoyable experience, if planned properly.

TipsResource: First-aid kit essentials

Since safety is always the number one priority on a hike, here is an in-depth list of what your hiking-specific first aid kit should include, courtesy the Washington Trails Association. Make sure anything with an expiration date is well within that date to ensure maximum effectiveness.

— Gear, Tips and Resources by Intern Emily Reeves

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