My idea of a “hike” is about 8 miles with at least 1,500 feet of elevation gain. We haven’t done anything like that lately, so I haven’t blogged about our outings.
Call today my catch-up day.
In the past month, between the torrential rains and the snowstorm, we’ve managed to get out for four-, five-, and six-mile “walks” in DuPont State Park, the Biltmore Estate, the North Carolina Arboretum and Pisgah National Forest. These are all places chosen for their accessibility: we don’t want to take our car on back roads that will surely be very muddy and may be inaccessible due to fallen trees (see “torrential rains and the snowstorm”).
DuPont has wonderful waterfalls, which were in full rush. The arboretum has an unexpected diversity in trails and access to the Shut-in Trail as well as Lake Powhatan, allowing us to extend our walks.
The Biltmore is always a nice hike. We start at Antler Hill Village and walk up along the French Broad River before turning up a hill to the mansion, check out the view from the terrace and retrace our steps to the Village, where we have the tough decision of a drink at the tavern or ice cream.
At Pisgah, we did the Cat Gap Loop, which had some lovely uphill so that it was more my idea of a hike than a walk.
Oh, and we’ve done the two-mile loop to the top of Bearwallow Mountain a few times because our homesite is nearby and it’s hard to resist a little uphill jaunt on a nice day when we’re up there. I’m expecting many more such trips as we start building our house – any day (week?) now. We hiked Bearwallow alone, then with Lauren and Bobby at Christmas and then again on New Year’s Day with our future neighbors on a group hike.
The more we’ve gotten out in the woods, the more excited I’ve gotten about all the hikes in our future. There are so many trails, state parks and national forests and we haven’t even started exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.