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

Goose Creek State Park
Goose Creek State Park

Hiking Goose Creek
GetExploring! Greenville returns this Sunday to one of our favorite local hiking spots: Goose Creek State Park in Washington.
The hike will start at the park office and head down the Palmetto boardwalk — a nice start elevated above swampland. We’ll continue on the Ivey Gut Trail, then hit the Goose Creek Trail. From Goose Creek to Live Oak, from Live Oak to Huckleberry , from Huckleberry to Tar-Kiln, which leads back to the Palmetto boardwalk. About 7 miles in all.
This should be a great spring hike. If the temperature is warm, it could be a buggy one as well: bring bug spray.
For more info and to sign up, visit our GetExploring! Greenville Meetup site.
Meanwhile, at a state park (that may be) near you:

  • Turk's cap
    Turk’s cap

    Volunteer Trail Work Day, Saturday, 8-11:30 a.m., Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain. On-the-job training for all sorts of trail improvements, from erosion control to trail rehab. More info: 704.853.5375

  • Volunteer Trail Work Day, Saturday, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. Will either work on the existing Summit Trail or work to complete the Maple Run Trail. More info: 828.297.7261
  • American Woodcock Skydance, 7:15 p.m., New River State Park, Laurel Springs. If you’ve never seen the mating dive-dance of the male American woodcock and you appreciate curious critter behavior, this is right up your alley. A slideshow at the Visitor Center followed by a visit to a site where male American woodcocks are known to do some courting. More info: 336.982.2587.
  • Jomeokee Hike, Saturday, 5 p.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. Meet atop the park for a short (less than a mile) ranger-led hike around the pinnacle. More info: 336.325.2355

    Pilot Mountain
  • Spring Wildflower Walk, Sunday, 10 a.m., South Mountains State Park, Connelly Springs. A one-hour hike along the Jacob River with a ranger who knows flora, seasonal and otherwise. More info: 828.433.4772
  • Track Trail Hike for Kids, Sunday, 2 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. A kid-oriented nature hike (supervising adults are welcome and, in fact, must attend as well). More info: 828.297.7261
  • Spring Wildflower Walk, Sunday, 3 p.m. Grandfather Mountain State Park, Linville. In search of spring wildflowers on the Profile Trail. A slow pace, a moderately difficult trail, a 2.5-hour adventure. More info: 828.963.9522

Our last adventure: An Eno ramble


Wildflowers are curious things. For the longest while, you don’t notice them. Then you see one and suddenly they’re everywhere.
That was the case with Saturday’s 5-mile hike along the Eno River from Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve upstream to West Point on the Eno city park in Durham. Immediately out of Penny’s Bend, nothing. But as we continued upstream, the banks along the Eno began revealing the spring show the Eno River valley is famous for. Initially, the delicate white flute of the toothwort: then batches. A starburst of white chickweed, then fields. And so on with yellow wood sorrel, the toothy Dutchman’s  breeches, delicate spring beauties, periwinkle, fiddlehead ferns and more. For the 21 hikers who managed to find the meeting
Periwinkle point and trailhead, it was about as good a spring hike as you could picture.
Look for a slideshow this week at

Tip of the week: Tick, tick, tick

tick-300x300We run this tip periodically, but it’s worth repeating because of all the concern we hear about ticks. The concerns are justified, but if you’re attentive, the little parasites shouldn’t pose a threat. A few quick thoughts:
Hitchin’ a ride: Ticks typically climb aboard low, then work their way up your body (they seem particularly attracted to your mid-section). They’re especially problematic on tight trails where you brush against flora, but they can catch a ride even on open trails.
Precaution: The best defense is to cover your body, especially your legs. Wear long pants, tuck ‘em into your boots. You can also spray your clothing with an aerosol spray containing Permethrin. Skin sprays that work for mosquitoes and other pests are not so effective against ticks.
Despite the best defense … These pernicious parasites have a way of attaching to your body and working themselves just about anywhere. Immediately after a hike, check your body for ticks. They’re pretty easy to remove when they first attach; use a pair of tweezers and try to remove the entire tick, including all eight legs. When you get home, have a loved one or someone you’re very open with examine you thoroughly; these little rascals can get into the darndest places.
Watch for a bulls-eye: If, within a few days, a bullseye develops where a tick had attached, see your doctor.
Ticks happen. Quick removal should prevent tick-related illnesses from happening. Be vigilant

Resource of the Week: Appalachian Trail Conservancy

One of our own — Susan Levy — began thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail last week. If you don’t know Susan or her zero-to-AT-in-a-year-and-a-half story, you can read it here.
Susan’s adventure has spurred
Susan Levy flashing the victory signal. additional interest in the Appalachian Trail, which leads us to this week’s resource: the website of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the non-profit charged with managing and maintaining the 2,180-mile AT. It contains a treasure of information about both the AT and hiking in general. From the site you can order their guidebooks and maps, easily the most helpful and entertaining trail guides around. A worthy bookmark.

Gear We Like: Gorillapod


We love the little things that improve the quality of life — especially the quality of life on the trail. The Gorillapod, for instance, a nifty camera tripod that can stand alone to offer a shake-free closeup, or wrap itself around a fence or a tree branch, your noggin, whatever, to provide unique and stable camera shots. It’s durable, lightweight, easy to use and, most importantly, fun to use. Comes in various sizes (for various size cameras), starting at $19.95. Learn more here.