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: A ride, a hike

640.4504We’ve got two adventures planned for this weekend out of Greenville: our Bike and Brew ride featuring the Duck Rabbit Brewery and a hike at Raven Rock State Park on the Cape Fear River near Lillington.

  • Bike and Brew. Saturday at 2 p.m. we will do our second Bike and Brew of the young year, starting in the Five Points area of Greenville, riding 15 miles into the surrounding countryside, then lighting at the Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery tap room. Rides will be provided back to Greenville for those who catch multiple rabbits. Interested in this no-drop ride that begins at 2 p.m.? Check out our GetExploring! Greenville Meetup site for details and to sign up.
  • Raven Rock hike. Starting at 11 a.m. we’ll do a five-mile hike of the Campbell Creek Loop Trail at Raven Rock State Park, located on the Cape Fear River upstream from Lillington. A good opportunity to see spring unfold in the Piedmont. Time permitting, we will do a 2.6-mile hike to Raven Rock (pictured) and back. For more info and to sign up for this hike, visit our site, here.

Our next adventure: New trail on the MST

EnoRiverLast year, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail punched through a five-mile stretch of the MST linking West Point on the Eno city park in Durham with Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve downstream. The new trail resulted in a continuous 110-mile stretch of the MST in the Triangle, running from the Pleasant Green Access of Eno River State Park in Orange County through Durham, along the south bank of Falls Lake and down the Neuse River into Clayton.
We’ve hiked a good deal of that, but haven’t hiked the freshest tread, the five miles that opened last year in Durham. We’ll remedy that situation on Saturday, April 4, starting at Pennys Bend and hiking upstream to West Point on the Eno. The trail is generally flat through this stretch; I’d rate it moderately easy.
For more info on the hike and to sign up, visit our GetHiking! Triangle Meetup site.

Our last adventure: Doughton Park

IMG_7420Saturday marked the first hike in our GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes series The hike had been postponed from February, and the contrast in weather could not have been greater. On our original hike date there was a half foot of fresh snow on the ground covering a layer of ice. The Long Hike originating from the base of Doughton Park would have been treacherous bordering on dangerous, the Short Hike on the Bluff Mountain Trail impossible as the iced-over Blue Ridge Parkway, providing access to the trailhead, was closed.
And this past Saturday? We send you to for a report and slide show.

Resource of the week: North Carolina Parks website

As you start getting more comfortable on the trail, you’ll start looking for more trails to hike. Among your best options, especially in the Triangle: North Carolina’s state parks and recreation areas. We’ve got two state parks in the region, Umstead in Raleigh, which is where we will do all of our hikes, and Eno River in Durham; two recreation areas, Falls and Jordan lakes; and one state natural area, Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough. All have hiking trails suitable for beginners and more advanced hikers alike.
Learn more about hiking opportunities in North Carolina’s state parks here.

Tip of the week: Trekking poles

TrekkingPolesI sound like a broken record at the beginning of every hike, but really, trekking poles can make a difference. They can save your knees and back, they help with balance, they make creek crossings safer, they give you a full body workout — there are so many reasons to try them. To at least try them.
So the next time I offer, if you haven’t tried them, take me up on it. If you discover you need your hands free and don’t like them, I can fold them up, put ‘em in my pack and put you on my do-not-call-upon-ever-again list. What do you have to lose?

Gear We Like: Rocky Mountain Gaiter

or_rckymt_lowgaiters_blk_07We’ve had a lot of rainy weather of late. No one likes to miss a hike because of the rain, but no one likes getting soaked, either. We all know to carry a good (lightweight, breathable, packable) rain jacket, and last week we learned about carrying a pack cover too. But what about your feet?
Whether it’s raining, or there is mud on the trail, the solution is a good pair of gaiters.  My go-to gaiter is the Rocky Mountain Gaiter from OR.  This gaiter comes sized and in a high or low height. Gaiters keep rain and debris from going into the top of your shoe or boot, and keep mud and debris off your ankles and lower calves.  Because RMGs is waterproof and breathable, they can be used in all kinds of weather.  In addition to keeping water and mud out in wet weather, they’ll keep snow out on a winter hike, and they’ll keep rocks and dust out on a dry summer day.  At $40 for the high and $33 for the low, this is a great affordable addition to your adverse weather wardrobe!
— Lindsey Barr, Store Manager, Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Greenville