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Our upcoming adventures Hike, camp, backpack


GHSECH.MitchellGetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes: Mount Mitchell
GetHiking! Charlotte, Triad, Triangle
When: Sunday, Jan. 3, 8:30 a.m.

What better way to start a new year of adventure than by climbing the highest peak on the East Coast!

That’s how our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes program plans to cap its first year, climbing Mount Mitchell, at 6,684 feet not only the highest point on the East Coast, but the highest point east of South Dakota’s Black Hills. And we aren’t starting from the gift shop for the tenth-of-a-mile walk to the top, either.

Rather, we’ll earn the summit, starting from the Black Mountain Campground and taking the 5.5-mile Mount Mitchell Trail to the summit, gaining more than 3,700 vertical feet in the process. The trail doubles as the Mountains-to-Sea Trail: for the first 4-plus miles it’s mostly a steady progression of switchbacks on mostly civil tread. The last mile or so, the trail takes a more direct approach as it climbs through a spruce-fir forest. In addition to the 5.5 miles up, there’s the 5.5 miles back down, making for an 11-mile day.

There could be snow and ice: for that reason, traction devices will be required for this hike (see Gear of the Week, below). The emagazine for this hike will include a gear list specific to this hike. The emag will go out by week’s end.

This is a challenging hike with a steady climb to the summit. Temperatures will likely be in the 30s (or colder), there could be snow.

The hike is part of our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series (see below for more information). It will be the last hike in this series of 12 hikes for 2015.

This is a fee program; there is a per-hike charge of $25. The fee includes a swag bag, monthly enewsletter and discounts on hiking gear at Great Outdoor Provision Co. You will be sent a PayPal invoice upon signing up for this hike.

Estimated drive time: Charlotte: 2 hours, 20 minutes; Greensboro: 2 hours, 50 minutes; Raleigh: 3 hours, 50 minutes. Registration for this hike closes Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 9 a.m.

Hike leader: Joe Miller
More info here.

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

GHSECH.DoughtonOur 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

February Uwharrie Recreation Trail
Uwharrie National Forest, Asheboro
Saturday, Feb. 20


GHSECH.VirginiaMarch 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

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


GHSECH.StandingIndianJuly 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

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

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


GHSECH.PanthertownGroupDecember 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.

Gear of the week: What’s on your wish list


Our gear recommendation for this week, is actually your recommendation — rather, your collective recommendations over the past year.  We’ve been listening to you pine over the equipment you want, the stuff you see others with on the trail, or read about online. You’ll find the results of our … research on the Great Outdoor Provision Co. blog. Check out the appropriate category …

… and have yourself a happy holiday!

Tip of the week: Closed for Hiking (just for the day)

North Carolina’s State Parks are closed for only one day every year, and that day is this Friday. So resist the urge, take the day off. Hike Christmas Eve, hike the day after. Give the parks — and the folks who run them in particular — the day off.
One day out of 365 (366 in 2016). Seems pretty reasonable.

Resource of the Week: New Year’s Day Hike

Yes, this was last week’s resource. But it’s a good one, and more pertinent this week than last (though we will refrain from running it again next week, when it will be even more pertinent). Planning your New Year’s Day festivities and wondering about group hikes?
Odds are there’s a New Year’s Day hike near you, thanks to the North Carolina State Parks’ First Day Hikes. Initiated a few years back, nearly all state parks now have a ranger-led hike on Jan. 1. Find a First Day Hike near you, here.