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Running, walking, hiking, biking, paddling, climbing

Living the active life in North Carolina

Frozen Manhattans and other reasons this trip was different

Usually, backpackers show up at the trailhead, packs on their backs, with maybe a pound of food stowed among their weekend necessities. On this morning, 14 backpackers showed up with no packs at all. All each had was a little bag with enough clothes and whatnot for an overnight trip. In their defense, they hadn’t been told to bring a pack; they were simply told where to meet. This was…

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Scouting a trail leaves only the good surprises

Before I head down the trail with a batch of hikers, I do a bit of scouting. Even if I’ve hiked the trail before, the nature of things might have changed. If it’s a trail I hiked just last week, I might just scout the website to see if there’s been any flooding or tree falls. But if it’s been a while, and maybe in a different season, I’ll head…

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When Are You Too Sick to Hike?

My head was a little stuffy, there was a tickle in my throat, and there was a hint of wheeze in my chest. Otherwise, I felt good. And it was a perfect day to hike. What the heck, I thought, I’ll be fine. It’s a situation we face from time to time: the spirit is eager, the body … meh. What’s an active body to do? We turned to our…

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Five Great Tips for Fall Hiking

The lower temperatures and splendiferous colors of fall will entice many of us to take longer ventures into the woods in the coming days. This is a wonderful thing, but we want to remind you of a few things that will make your hike more enjoyable. Eat. Do not look at a 10-mile hike as a crash diet, or crash you will. Just last week, one of our hikers suddenly…

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Next week, Take a Child Outside

In 2005, author Richard Louv came out with his groundbreaking “Last Child in the Woods,” an account of how our kids have gone from being weaned in the wild to garrisoned in the great room in less than a generation. Within a year, Liz Baird, director of school programs for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, had launched Take A Child Outside Week, an effort to ensure that for at…

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This weekend: Get a jump on fall 

Technically, it may still be summer (fall starts a week from Friday, on Sept. 22), but the weather suggests the season is well underway. Sunny skies, dry air, temperatures in the 70s and low 80s: weather that beckons with a seductive come-hither finger to come outside and have some fun. Coast One of the outdoor pleasures we don’t indulge in often enough: paddling a coastal creek. There’s an odd intimacy…

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Mountains-to-Sea Trail in a Day — and throughout the fall

As we watched the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in a Day tally map go from red to green, as we read the comments from hikers sharing their experiences on Facebook and Instagram, and as we shared the day on the trail with more than 50 other hikers, a thought occurred: How awesome to have more than 1,700 hikers on the MST in just one day! How even more awesome to keep those…

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This weekend: MST in a Day 

We’ll ‘fess up up front: We’ve been working with the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to help them promote MST in a day, what the American Hiking Society believes would be the first time a long trail in the United States has had every inch hiked in a single day. That would be quite an achievement, and one we don’t want to leave to chance. As of Thursday afternoon, 245 legs of the…

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Three Great Opportunities for Backpackers

Just in time for autumn’s splendor, we’ve got three great ideas for both active and aspiring backpackers. Fall in North Carolina is the time to go backpacking. Daytime highs gradually dip and overnight lows are perfect for snugging into a down bag and getting a long night’s rest. From Shining Rock to the Smokies, the AT to the MST, the woods beckon for an extended stay. The glorious yellows, reds…

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10 Things to Do Before Summer Ends

Labor Day weekend marks the end of wearing white shoes and seersucker suits. And it also marks the end of several summertime frivolities. Of course, officially, summer doesn’t end until Sept. 22 (at 4:02 p.m. for you sticklers). Psychologically, though, this weekend is it. You have until Tuesday to squeeze in all the things you meant to do this summer, but didn’t get around to. Here is a list of…

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