15 minutes | Jan 10, 2023
Long Hikes for Cold Winter Days, Year of the Trail
The best thing about hiking on a cold winter’s day? You can hike forever. This is why winter is made for the long hike. In summer, after an hour on the trail, you’re done. You’re soaked in sweat, your eyes sting of salt, you’re coated in spider webs. In winter after an hour you’re just getting warmed up. The cold itself is good incentive to keep moving. And the more you move down the trail the more you realize what a magical time of year this is in the woods. Winter’s sunlight knifes bright through a leafless canopy, illuminating a forest floor littered with coppery leaves. Somehow, those gray tree trunks manage to betray the drab and muster a twinkle. Winter’s dry air cranks up the volume of the season’s quiet. It’s an experience you don’t want ended prematurely after an hour. Today we share 10 of our favorite long winter hikes and why they’re especially well-suited for the cold. You can find additional details on each of the hikes, starting with how and where to find the trailhead, here. Year of the TrailFind more information on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Bailey Mountain Hike in Mars Hill here.Find more Year of the Trail events at Great Trails NC here. Learn more about North Carolina's Year of the Trail here.Find news of Year of the Trail at GetGoingNC.com, here.
12 minutes | Dec 27, 2022
2023 North Carolina's Year of the Trail
This week, the last week of 2022, we kick off 2023 and North Carolina's year of the Trail. We talk with Beth Heile with the Great Trails State Coalition, a nonprofit created to promote trails in North Carolina, and we talk a little about our work with the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources' Hometown Strong initiative to promote trails in North Carolina's 80 rural counties. This week, we have a special emphasis on the start of Year of the Trail with a plethora of First Day Outings and how you can find out about them.Some helpful links related to this week's show: Great Trails State Coalition. Learn more about the Coalition and their work by clicking here. The Great Trails State Coalition is keeping a comprehensive calendar of all Year of the Trail events, including Sunday's First Day Outings. You can find it here. Interested in taking a First Day hike at one of North Carolina's State Parks? Check out the 47 First Day events at State Parks by going here. Mention is made in the podcast of North Carolina's 12 State Trails. Learn more about those by going here. Finally, if you'd like to join us on New Year's Day, we'll be working with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's NC Bird Atlas program and N.C. State Parks on a Birding and a Hike First Day adventure in Wilkesboro and at Rendezvous Mountain State Park. Learn more about this event and sign up to join us here.
27 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
A Look at North Carolina's 12 State Trails
Today on the GetHiking! Southeast Podcast we revisit North Carolina’s 12 State Trails. Revisit, because in March 2021 we spoke with State Trails Coordinator Smith Raynor about the trails. That discussion was a more broad-based chat about the State Trails program. Today, we take a closer look at each of the 12 trails, and later we will revisit these trails again to see how 2023, designated The Year of the Trail in North Carolina, will impact the development of these long trails. But let us not get ahead of ourselves. Today’s podcast is from one of our twice a month Lunch with GetHiking! Zoom sessions, this one from June 30. Learn moreAbout North Carolina's 12 State Trails at the State Parks website here.About 2023 The Year of the Trail in North Carolina at the Great Trails State Coalition website here.NewsLearn more about Dr. Morgan Smith's free online presentation, “Exploring Tennessee’s Submerged Cultural Landscapes and Resources,” here. Register to attend the aforementioned “Exploring Tennessee’s Submerged Cultural Landscapes and Resources" presentation here.Interested in hiking the recently renovated and reopen Big Creek Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Find trail information, including a map, here.Explore with Us!Join us for an upcoming hike, trip or class by visiting our GetGoingNC.com site and clicking on Explore with Us!
6 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
First trails open in Pisgah's Old Fort Project
The first 6 miles of trail in a project to eventually add 42 miles in the Old Fort area of North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest have opened. That and more national forest news, from Virginia and Tennessee, in this week's report.For more information on the trail opening and the Old Fort project, start here.For more information on the reopening of the High Knob Recreation Area in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, go here.
42 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
7 Mountain Hikes that are Summer Perfect
Come summer, we head to the high country of the Southern Appalachians to escape the sizzling heat at lower elevations. Today, we talk about 7 of our favorite high country hikes for summer, hikes that meet one of two criteria for summer exploring: they either need elevation to escape the heat, or they must have access to water. Better still, both. You can find more information on these hikes and other great mountain hikes in this GetHiking! guide, 7 Mountain Hikes for a Sizzling Summer.In the NewsIn our news report, we cover the closure of the Carden Bluffs Campground in the Watauga District of Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest due to campers being careless with food and trash. How can you keep from having your favorite campground shuttered by nutty bears? By following the advice offered by bearwise.org, which you can find here.Explore with Us!Join us for an upcoming hike, trip or class by visiting our GetGoingNC.com site and clicking on Explore with Us!
35 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
GetHiking! 50+ 10 Tips for Hikers 50 and Up
Today, we share 10 bits of advice primarily for folks 50 and older who are interested in getting into into hiking, as well as for established older hikers who want to continue hiking late into life. It’s taken from a Lunch with GetHiking! Zoom session on June 2. (Lunch with GetHiking! is an every other Thursday event done via Zoom, in which we discuss a variety of hiking topics. Find out when our next event is by joining our GetHiking! Meetup page here.) In the NewsFor more on the opening of the country's longest rubber-bearing multiuser trail, in Tennessee's T.O. Fuller State Park, go here.For more on closures in Virginia's George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, including at Peters Mountain and Whitetop Mountain, go here.Explore with Us!Join us for an upcoming hike, trip or class by visiting our GetGoingNC.com site and clicking on Explore with Us!
17 minutes | May 31, 2022
Celebrate your local trails this National Trails Day
Since 1993, the first Saturday of June has been observed as National Trails Day. Administered by the American Hiking Society, it's a day when we celebrate our trails, either by hiking (or, in the case of "blue" trails, paddling) them, or by rolling up our sleeves to do trail maintenance or blaze a new trail. Today, we talk a little about the history of National Trails Day as well as what's going on this year.To learn more about National Trails Day, visit the American Hiking Society web site here.In the newsFor more information on the reopening of portions of the Occoee National Whitewater Center in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest, go here.To find what facilities are now open along the Blue Ridge Parkway ion North Carolina and Virginia, go here.Explore with Us!To learn more about our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! adventures, visit GetGoingNC.com, click on Explore with Us!
28 minutes | May 24, 2022
It's time (past time?) to book a summer campsite
Camping has grown in popularity, especially over the past couple of years. Time was it wasn't hard to score a campsite at the last minute. That's changed, even at less popular campsites. Today we look at how to book a site during the camping boom.In the newsCheck on forest fire levels and on scheduled prescribed burns at these National Forest websites: Georgia North Carolina Virginia Tennessee South Carolina West Virginia Explore with Us!For information on our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! trips, visit GetGoingNC.com and click on Explore with Us!
39 minutes | May 3, 2022
Living (and hiking!) 'til you're 200, with Jevitty's Jerry Kroll
Imagine approaching 70 and wondering how many years of hiking you have left? Five, 10, maybe 15? Now imagine you’ve only reached the midpoint in your hiking career, that you could easily have another 70 years — or more — of hiking in you. Jerry Kroll has long been a cutting-edge kind of guy, dating back to his sustainable clothing venture in the late 1980s to his ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corporation, which has produced a single-occupant electric car — with three wheels no less. Now, Jerry is a year into his most far-sighted venture yet, Jevitty Life Science, which is creating an app — now in the beta stage — that could help you take advantage of existing and emerging technology to live to be 200 years old — or older. Today, in one of our GetHiking! 50+ episodes, Jerry, who is 62 and an avid marathon runner, talks about Jevitty and how Mel Brooks’ 2000-year-old man may be a stretch, but a 200-year-old human may not be so far-fetched in the near future.To learn more about the Jevitty app, go here.In the News Ocoee Whitewater Center fire. To learn more about the 1996 Summer Olympics whitewater events site, which was destroyed by fire April 26, go here. Barnett Branch Fire in North Carolina. For the latest on this wildfire along the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Pisgah Inn, go here. Morrow Mountain State Park renovations. Head here for more details on the year-long renovation of facilities and trail. Mother's Day feast at Tennessee State Parks. Learn more about the Mother's Day meals, including the menus, at four Tennessee State Parks, go here. Explore with Us!Learn more about the trips mentioned in today's podcast and other trips and classes coming up in our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! universes by going here.
10 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
A Mercifully Brief Safety Rant
The U.S. Forest Service will close the Catawba Falls Trails on May 2 to make a number of trail improvements to make access to its popular namesake falls safer. But can they possibly make it safe enough. This week, a short rant about the need not necessarily for fool-proof trails, but for awareness and a little common sense. ResourcesYou can learn more about our "Let's GetHiking: A Quick and Comprehensive Guide for the Aspiring Hiker," and order a copy, here.Find basic resource for hiking at the American Hiking Society website, here.Explore with us!Learn more about the trips our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! groups are taking at GetGoingNC.com, click on Explore with us!
26 minutes | Apr 12, 2022
Hiking the Evening into Night
Hiking at night offers rewards not offered in daylight. This type of hiking calls for a different level of concentration: your world is defined by the sphere of light cast by your headlamp. You tune in the sounds of the night, which are not the same as the sounds of daytime: more owls than warblers, more raccoons than squirrels. Pause in a clearing, snuff your light and you can see the glories of the vast night sky. It’s a special place, the night world, and it is one well worth exploring. Today we offer tips on how to take a safe and successful evening-into-night hike. Night Hike Tips: For the GetHiking! Rule the Night tips sheet on hiking into the night, go here.In the newsFor more on the Schoolhouse Ridge Trail reopening, go here.Explore with us!To learn more about our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! hikes, trips and classes, go here.
20 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
Avoiding Spring's Crowded Trails
The trails have long been crowded come spring and fall. In the last two years, they've become even more so as an increasing number of people have discovered hiking as a safe way to recreate. So what's a long-time hiker to do, hibernate in the best two hiking seasons of the year and wait out the masses? Not hardly, especially if you know how to beat the crowds. In today's episode, we share some tips on how to find the solitude you crave on the trail, even during the active spring hiking season.In the News 14-day camping limit imposed. To learn more about the 14-day camping limit imposed in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, go here. Ramps gathering in Tennessee. To learn more about the permits being issued to collect ramps in the Tellico Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest, go here or call 423.397.8455. Forest fire danger. To check on the danger of forest fires throughout the Southeast, visit the State Climate Office of North Carolina's Fire Weather Intelligence Portal here.
8 minutes | Mar 22, 2022
Seasonal Closures and Spring Break
Seasonal closures don't always end when they're supposed to: it pays to double check before heading out, especially this time of year. Also, spring break is coming: do you know where you'll be spending it?For more on Seasonal closures (and reopenings) in National Forests, check the appropriate National Forest Service website and look under "Events & News"/"Alerts & Notices". Georgia North Carolina Virginia Tennessee South Carolina West Virginia Interested in taking the family outdoors for spring break? See what your local State Park has anything happening by checking here: Georgia Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee West Virginia
10 minutes | Mar 15, 2022
The return of Daylight Saving Time — and what it means to you
This past Sunday, March 13, marked the return of Daylight Saving Time throughout the land, and whether you think it a devious contrivance designed entirely to benefit the vast Barbecue Industrial Complex — I know, we’re in the South, I should call it the vast Grilling industrial Complex — or think Daylight Saving doesn’t go far enough, that we should have 24 hours of daylight, Daylight Saving Time is here and we should make the most of it. In today's episode we discuss how to do just that.In the News For information on the Sliding Rock Recreation Area in the Pisgah National Forest, go here.For information on the opening of nearly 50- developed recreation sites in the Monongahela National Forest, go hereFor information on seasonal openings in Virginia's George Washington and Thomas Jefferson national forests, go here.To find a hike in Tennessee State Parks' Spring Hike Series, go here.Explore with Us!For information on our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! trips, visit GetGoingNC.com and click on Explore with Us!
18 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
In Search of Spring
We love winter, but when mid-February rolls around we can't help but be on the lookout for signs of spring. What are the harbingers of the season and where do we search for them? That's the topic of today's podcast.Download our Spring Wildflowers tip sheet, here, for more info on what spring wildflowers to look for at the beginning of the season, and where to search for them. Find it here.In the NewsFor a rundown of cliff faces in western North Carolina National Forests closed through Aug. 15 for peregrine falcon nesting season, go here.To reserve a space to hike Old Rag in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, go here.Explore with Us!To learn more about the GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! trips mentioned in today's podcast, visit GetGoingNC.com, clock on Explore with Us!
26 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
Training for Long Distance hikes
Looking to get into the mountains a lot this year and explore new trail? Or maybe you’ve got a hiking vacation planned. If you’ve got big hiking goals, you need a good training program to to meet them. It needn’t be a strictly regimented program — not necessarily one that requires running stairs in your 12-story office building before and after work. Rather, it needs to be one you’ll adhere to and thus, is fun. In today's episode we talk about devising a practical hike training program suited to you.Looking for a long trail to train for long hikes on? Check out this post on long hikes at GetGoingNC.com from February 2.NewsFor updates on the Smith Creek Trail reopening following the Unicoi fire, go here.To find out when planned prescribed burns in the Mount Rogers area will take place, check out Mount Rogers National Recreation Area social media: Twitter or Facebook.Learn more about visitation to National Parks in 2021 by visiting the National Park Service Social Science website and by visiting the NPS Visitor Use Statistics website. Explore with usCheck out the trips mentioned in this podcast at GetGoingNC.com, click on Explore with Us
32 minutes | Feb 15, 2022
GetGoing! at 50: A Hiker is Born (at age 62)
Like a lot of us, Robin Barefoot got her first taste of being outdoors as a kid, in her case, on the summer vacations her family took in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. And, also like a lot of us, life intervened as she got older and she found herself playing in the woods less and less. Then, in the early 2000s her interest in the woods was rekindled on a trip to the Smokies with her two kids and a friend. Then, a couple years ago, the Durham resident decided to act. She wandered into her local outfitter and asked if they knew of any local hiking groups. They did, setting Robin on the path to achieving her new goal of becoming a hiker, at the age of 62. Robin shares her story in this GetGoing at 50 segment of the GetHiking! Southeast Podcast. Second ChildhoodIf you're interested in learning more about gene expression or other aspects of aging successfully, check out Daniel J. Levitin's "Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives," published in 2020 and now available in paperback.
25 minutes | Feb 8, 2022
Our Favorite Hiking Resources for Scouting and Planning (and Just Being Entertained)
Today we talk about some of resources we use for scouting and planning hikes and trips, and for simple entertainment. The links follow: Trail status, road conditions North Carolina State Parks Blue Ridge Parkway Great Smoky Mountains National Park Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah and Uwharrie National Forests Shenandoah National Park Virginia National Forests (George Washington and Jefferson) Virginia State Parks Appalachian Trail Virginia State Parks Sunrise, sunset Sunrise-sunset.org Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics’s Leave No Trace website Volunteer Vacations American Hiking Society's Volunteer Vacations page American Hiking Society: general hiking resources American Hiking Society Fastest Known Times fastestknowntime.com Wildflower ID A Virtual Wildflower Garden Across Time FAQ on hiking the Appalachian Trail Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Frequently Asked Questions National Trails Day events American Hiking Society's NTD page Mountains-to-Sea Trail Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail Fire danger State Climate Office of North Carolina Fire Weather Intelligence Portal Campsite Assist Campsite Assist portion of CampitePhotos.com Hiking with dogs "Best Hikes with Dogs: North Carolina" The night sky Skywatching page at space.com Bonus resourcesState state educational forests North Carolina Educational State Forests Need a trail name? Trail Name Generator Hiking etiquette American Hiking Society's Hiking etiquette page
25 minutes | Feb 1, 2022
Our 6 Favorite Backpacking Destinations (by mood)
By mood? We're always in a good mood when we backpack — how could we not be? Rather, by "mood" in this instant we're referring to the kind of backpack trip we'd like to take, or that we have time for. In short, the type of trip we're in the mood for. Thus, we break down our favorite trips by category. They are: Best Weekend Trip Best Winter Trip Best Basecamp Trip Best Wilderness Trip Best Avoid-the-Masses Trip Best Trip, Period You can learn more about each trip and find a link with details on taking your own Best trip on our GetGoingNC.com blog, here.Join usOur GetBackpacking! program will lead four of this trips between now and summer. Click the link for more information and to sign up. Appalachian Trail: Max Patch to Hot Springs, February 25-27 Shining Rock Wilderness via Big East Fork, April 22-24 Virginia’s Triple Crown, May 19-22 Appalachian Trail: Carvers Gap to US 19E, June 17-19 Not a backpacker, but want to be?Our Spring GetBackpacking! Intro to Backpacking classes are starting soon Each includes, among other elements: 1-hour Zoom Intro to Gear Session 5-hour in-field training session, covering all aspects of backpacking Weekend graduation trip Learn more by clicking on the appropriate session: North Carolina Virginia In the newsLearn more about stories in our news segment.Mount Mitchell Trail improvements For more information on the improvements themselves, go here. For details on the American Conservation Experience, go here. For info on the N.C. High Peaks Trail Association, go here.
27 minutes | Jan 25, 2022
GetGoing! After 50: Tales of Adventure from the Second Half
Think about your recent hikes. Notice anything about your fellow hikers? About their age? That, maybe they’re a little older than you might think? According to the latest Outdoor Participation report from the Outdoor Foundation, hiking is the most popular form of outdoor recreation for people ages 45 to 64. And it’s not surprising that this trend would be especially noticeable on trails here in the Southeastern U.S. because of the number of older people who relocate here, sometimes to be closer to their kids who’ve moved here, sometimes simply for the more moderate climate. And even if these folks didn’t hike before, the preponderance of hiking trails here proves an attractive way to stay healthy and enjoy the weather, especially our moderate winters. The seven states that comprise our primary focus area here at the GetHiking! Southeast Podcast — Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky — have a combined 11,500 miles of trail. In fact, more than half of the Appalachian Trail — 1,190 miles — is in the Southeast. Today, in an occasional series we call GetGoing Over 50, we begin looking at this phenomenon of older adventure-seekers, starting with a conversation with two guys who could be the poster children for the retired, but not relegated to the recliner. Bob and Henry relocated to the Triangle area of North Carolina from Chicago and Long Island, respectively, and are now more active than ever. I caught up with them at the start of one of their weekly outings together, this one an 8-mile hike — much of it off trail — along the Eno River in the Piedmont of central North Carolina.NewsWe promised you links, here are the links: For more information on the Georgia DNR Career Academy, go here. To learn more about the new pilot program limiting visitation to Shenandoah National Park's Old Rag, go here.