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! Night Hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, Raleigh
GetHiking! Triangle
When: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m..
Distance: 4.2 miles
Type of hike: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Moderate

Shorter days, colder nights — where would we be without our night hikes?
Yes, the winter night hike is back. At least once a month we will hit the trail midweek after dark for a walk on the dark side. If you’re new to night hiking, you may be surprised to learn that hiking at night is something that is done. Even more surprised to hear that, with proper lighting, it can, in fact, be safer than hiking in daylight.
Your field of vision is limited to the glow of your headlamp: 10 to 15 yards in most cases. Without the distraction of scenery, you’re more likely to watch you’re immediate path. (There are other small tricks to night hiking that we’ll share at the trailhead.)
So, you may wonder, if there’s not much to see, what’s the point of being in the woods at night?
Deprived of sight, your other senses are heightened. Most significantly: your hearing. There’s a lot of chatter in the woods at night; deciphering what you’re hearing is good fun: is that a bull rampaging through the woods — or a squirrel?
A headlamp (or flashlight) is required; we have a limited number to loan.

Hike leader: Joe Miller
More info here.

GetHiking! Potluck on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Shining Rock Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest
Shining Rock Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest

Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, Raleigh
GetHiking! Triangle, Triad
When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.
Distance: 5 miles
Type of hike: Point to point, with short shuttle
Difficulty: Moderate

Do we eat to hike or hike to eat? It’s a philosophical question that has plagued hikers over the years: is that triple bacon blue cheese burger with onion rings part of a well-orchestrated recovery program designed to help us down the trail the next day, or is it simply the carrot that keeps us moving?
It’s a question we can discuss over a potluck lunch at the end of this 5-mile hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at Falls Lake just north of Raleigh.
After gathering at the Shinleaf Recreation Area, we’ll set one of the most efficient shuttles ever, driving to the trailhead at the Upper Barton Creek boat ramp. There, we’ll hike the 2.1-mile Day-hike Section G of the MST, then cross NC 98 (looking both ways before doing so) and hike the 3.1-mile Day-hike Section H, to the Shinleaf Recreation Area. Once there, let the debate on delectables begin!

Hike leader: Anne Triebert
More info here.

GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes: Linville Gorge
Linville Gorge, Pisgah National Forest
GetHiking! Triangle, Triad, Charlotte


When: Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m.
Distance: 7.5 miles, 8.7 miles, 12 miles
Type of hike: Point to point, with a lollipop option
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous to very strenuous

Linville Gorge has a reputation as one of the wildest spots on the East Coast. That reputation is well-deserved — if you venture into the gorge. In its 13-mile run through the gorge, the Linville River drops 2,000 feet; from rim to river, there’s a 1,400-foot elevation drop. Since most of the gorge is designated wilderness, whatever happens within — from the occasional landslide to the more frequent drop of a giant hemlock — stays as is. There are trails, but they are generally unmarked and not maintained.
But there’s another way to experience the gorge, which is what we plan to do. We will start from Wolf Pit Road, hike up to Shortoff Mountain, then follow the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the gorge’s east rim, to Tablerock Mountain. Total distance: 7.5 miles.
This stretch begins with a good climb of a mile up to Shortoff Mountain. From there, it’s three miles of scenic rim hiking before the drop into Chimney Gap and the subsequent climb up to The Chimneys, a challenging 0.9 miles that gains nearly 900 vertical feet.
Stop at Table Rock, or, if you’ve still got a little gas in the tank, add another 1.2 miles for the roundtrip to the top of Table Rock.
Finally, if you’re determined to drop into the gorge, add another 4.1 miles for the drop down Spence Ridge Trail and back for a total distance of 12 miles.
This part of our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series (see below for more information). It will be the eighth hike in this series of 12 hikes in 2015. Unlike our previous Classic Hikes, which included Long and Short versions, this hike will head out as one; one of the hike leaders will be designated to lead the 7-mile group, which will split from the main group around Schoolhouse Falls. A more detailed account of the route will appear shortly.
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, 15 minutes; Greensboro: 2 hours, 45 minutes; Raleigh: 3 hours, 50 minutes.
For more information on the GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes program, go here. To sign up, as well as for more information, contact Joe Miller at

Hike leaders: Joe Miller and Anne Triebert
More info here.

Hiking at Goose Creek

Last call for hiking in 2015 (at least with GetExploring! Greenville)!
Saturday, we’ll head down to Washington for one of our favorite hikes: the seven miles of trail at Goose Creek State Park. Goose Creek offers a variety of terrain, from swampy forest to sandy beach. Plus, fall color is working its way east, offering added incentive. For those of you who like to virtually hike a trail before really hiking it, we’ll make a loop out of the Ivey Gut, Goose Creek, Live Oak, Huckleberry, Mallard Creek, and Tar Kiln Trails, returning to the
Our Goose Creek trip in April parking area via the Palmetto Boardwalk. (Find a park trail map here.)
For more information on Saturday’s hike and to sign up, visit our GetExploring! Greenville Meetup page, here

Gear of the week: Trash bags
Staring out the window at the rain reminds me of our best friend on a wet-weather hike: the trash bag. Store your stuff in the bag, tie it, invert the bag in your pack (so rain doesn’t seep in from the top). Still use a pack cover, but this is one sure way to make sure your gear doesn’t doesn’t get even a little wet. A garden-size bag for backpacking, a kitchen trash bag for your day pack. Lightweight, reliable, cheap.

Tip of the week: Rain gear: sooner, or later?

Yesterday, our GetBackpacking! group set out on a short hike after getting our packs properly
Split decision, on the Tanawha Trail. loaded. The sky was ominous but holding back. About mid-hike that changed: a mild weep at first, quickly escalating to a hearty sob. Thus arose the debate: Should we stop and don rain gear or wait?
The temperature was around 60: cool, but not too cool. Putting on all but the priciest, rain-resistant rain gear would get us sweating pretty quickly, especially with 30 to 35 pounds on our backs. It boiled down to this: Did we want to be wet from sweat or from the rain?
Here’s a general rule of thumb in such circumstances: if the temperature is 50 or below, put your rain gear on with the first sprinkle. That’s cool enough that getting rain-wet can quickly drop your body temperature. Above 50 and into the mid-60s, it depends on the intensity of the rain and how much farther you have to hike. As the temperature passes 70, your rain gear will create a mini-sauna; that warm rain will feel refreshing.

Resource of the Week: How to use trekking poles

At the start of each GetBackpacking! Introduction to Backpacking session we do a quick how-to on the proper use of trekking poles. There’s nothing tricky to the set-up and use of poles, but knowing a thing or two about their proper use can make a huge difference in how much they help.
At the start of any of our hikes, feel free to ask about the best way to use poles. In the meantime, here’s a helpful (if slightly long, at nearly 6 minutes) video from Chase Tucker on set-up, use and benefits of trekking poles.
Watch it here.