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

Our next Classic Hike Great Smoky Mountains

View from Mt. Sterling
View from Mt. Sterling

The next hike in our North Carolina Classic Hikes series will be Sunday, April 26, in the Mt. Sterling/Cataloochee Valley area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Again, we will have both a long hike and a short hike.
Long Hike: 15.6 miles. This hike gets the climbing out of the way up front with a 6-mile climb up 5,842-foot Mt. Sterling. The summit is topped by a boreal forest. Good views, especially if you’re willing to climb the fire tower. From there, we descend Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail, then continue a downward trajectory along Pretty Hollow Creek to Palmer Creek and the Cataloochee Valley. There, history awaits in the form of five restored buildings open for touring, as well as a herd of elk that wander into the valley in late afternoon.
Short Hike: 7.4 miles. The short hike begins at the same trailhead as the Long,  but after a mile heads toward the Little Cataloochee

Cataloochee Valley
Cataloochee Valley

community where you’ll see an old church and cabin, as well as a steady climb that takes you over two gaps, before dropping into the Cataloochee Valley.
Learn more about the Long Hike and the Short Hike, and about our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series at our GetHiking! Triangle Meetup page and here.


Upcoming GetExploring! adventures: Fish, fling, paddle

We’ve got a lot coming up in Greenville in the next few weeks. Here’s a quick rundown:

Kayak Fishing Clinic, Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m. GOPC Greenville store. Topic: fishing kayaks and the assorted options out there, and how to rig your fishing kayak. Something for novices and advanced fisherfolk alike.
More info here.
paddleDisc Golf Clinic, Saturday, March 21, 2 p.m. West Meadowbrook Park, Greenville. We’ll go over the various discs, rules and the mechanics of a good fling. Practice throwing, maybe play a round or two.
More info here.
Disc Golf Tournament, Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m. West Meadowbrook Park, Greenville. With your new-found knowledge from Saturday’s clinic, see what tournament play is like, in an 18-hole, shotgun start tournament. There’s a fee ($5 in advance, $7 at the tournament), but there are also prizes and the proceeds go to benefit the Tar River Foundation.
More info here.
Gear.DiscsPaddle Safety Day, Saturday, April 4, 1-4 p.m. GOPC Greenville store. A great opportunity to make sure your paddle craft is ship-shape, in this clinic conducted with the local branch of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
More info here.
Paddle from Town Common to Port Terminal, Saturday, April 4, 5 p.m. Town Common Park. You got your canoe or kayak inspected, now take it for a spin on this short paddle.
More info here.

Our last adventure: Hiking the Eno (finally)

It was canceled in February by cold and snow, it was postponed from Saturday by an insistent rain. Sunday, though, proved the charm, as we finally got to hike the Fews Ford Access of Eno River State Park. We stuck to trails on the Eno’s north side: the Buckquarter Creek, Holden Mill, Ridge and Shakori. Seven miles of hiking in all, including: a) sightings of the first spring wildflowers of the season, and; b) a challenging crossing of the somewhat swollen Buckquarter Creek, linking the Buckquarter and Holden Mill trails. A good day of adventure.

Gear We Like: Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover

Gear.PackCoverA little rain shouldn’t keep you off the trail, provided you and your gear are protected from the elements. As for the latter, Lindsey, Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s shop manager in Greenville, recommends the Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover. Why?
“This is my preferred rain cover for several reasons. At less than 5 ounces and super compressible (large size packs smaller than a soda can), I can throw this in any pack and not loose any storage capability. The cordura material it is made from is super durable and difficult to tear.  A drawstring and mid-back retention strap keep the cover secure over a pack.  With a large drain hole and attached stuff sack, this really is everything you could want in a pack cover!”
Comes in sizes XS through L, to fit packs up to 95 liters, and is available in a variety of colors. Price range is $30-$45.

Tip of the Week: Your local forecast

Tip.WeatherAnother quick word on following the weather. As hike day approaches, we pay close attention to the weather forecast. In years of doing so, we’ve discovered that the more local the forecast, the more accurate it tends to be. It just makes sense that local meteorologists, who deal with a focused area, will be able to devote more time to analyzing the various local weather models. They also are likely clued into some of the local quirks and anomalies that defy definition by computer models. And, these sites tend to be less bloated with pop-ups, ads and graphics that make it hard to find what you want and slow the process.
So what are some good local forecasts to follow? Read on …

Resource of the week: Local forecasts

Here are some of the local forecasts we consult before a hike.
Ray’s Weather: The undisputed source for what’s happening — and likely to happen — in North Carolina’s high country. Broken down by county., Charlotte: Featuring Brad Panovich, the official meteorologist for, Triangle: Hyperventilates at the prospect of snow, but otherwise a good source., Greenville (NC): Good info that isn’t buried in an avalanche of graphics., Triad: Another straightforward, easy-to-digest site.