I'm back in Santa Fe for the next couple weeks, hoping to catch the aspens changing color for fall. This got me thinking about how incredible the fall is in North Carolina, which got me thinking about how much I love spring in here too. I decided I needed a blog post about the seasons in North Carolina to highlight some of my favorite outdoor things to do. I don't enjoy hiking and camping all year in North Carolina, but we've managed to find some great things to do during all the seasons.
I'm starting with Fall because I'm looking forward to its arrival in a couple days....
Fall is arguably the best time of year for hiking. The fall foliage is beautiful and lasts a long time in North Carolina. There are plenty of cool, crisp days with low humidity and still bright sunshine.
Not my favorite season. Anywhere. Allyson says I'm solar-powered and that means I kind of hibernate in the winter. I'm literally ready for bed as soon as the sun sets. We lucked out last winter because we spent 3 1/2 weeks in New Zealand, where it was summer. This year we will not be so lucky. However, North Carolina's winters are short and rarely include snow (except in the mountains). We haven't made it up to the snow yet, but we're hoping to this winter.
I love Edisto Island, South Carolina in the winter. It's quiet. When we've been there, it's been clear and sunny and moderate temperatures for winter (50s during the day). We've kayaked and done plenty of beach walking. One especially cool place to check out The Boneyard at Botany Bay. We have always been visiting my dad and his girlfriend when visiting Edisto, so we have not camped. However, there is a campground right on the beach, which I believe is open all year round. Winter camping on the beach? Yes please!
I love trees. I love them most with leaves on them, but I also like the crunch of dead leaves and the views that open up when there are no leaves on the trees. There are plenty of trails close by in the Durham/Chapel Hill area, including Eno River State Park and Jordan Lake State Park, that are great in the winter (and free!)
I sure love spring. Spring in North Carolina essentially happens overnight. In one week, the trees will go from bare to green explosion. It's kind of awesome. And the flowering trees! I just love spring in Durham and North Carolina and it is another season that seems to last for a long time (like fall). The perfect spring day in Durham could include (and has included) the following outdoor activities: farmer's market, breakfast at Parker and Otis or Foster's Market, a drink on the patio at Geer Street Cafe, and a walk through Sarah P. Duke Gardens. (I will blog about this day soon).
Camping and hiking in spring are pretty great too, as long as you don't get a rainy weekend (even then it can be fun, as long as you have the right gear!) We had a great weekend of camping in Lake James State Park and hiking at Linville Falls and Linville Gorge in March.